Various Artists - Take Action! Vol. 9
Record Label: Sub City Records & Hopeless Records
Release Date: February 9, 2010
No matter how terrible or fantastic the song may be, artists should always be commended for their contribution to a charity compilation. Approximately $450,000 has been raised through the Take Action! tours and albums. Even if you only like a few tracks out of the 35, purchasing the album will ultimately be for a great cause. In this case, it will be for Driving for Donors, a charity that urges people to register for the National Marrow Registry.
After their PSA, We the Kings starts off the first CD’s acoustic feel, by covering “The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World. Although Travis Clark’s vocals did not go further raise the bar originally set by Jim Adkins, this cover was significantly better than the monstrosity that was the Gorillaz cover. “The Silence (Hurley Studio Acoustic)” by Mayday Parade did not impress me, but then again, neither did their latest album. The acoustic version sounded shaky and the harmonies sub-par. “Backbone (Acoustic)” brings in the same punchy energy as the original. It’s nice to hear There for Tomorrow doesn’t stick to the same repeating chords like some of the other bands do.
Nick Santino's edited voice started to venture into territory inhabited by the likes of Medic Droid in A Rocket To The Moon's “Fool Everyone.” I’ll let you decide for yourself if that’s a good thing or not. “Liars and Cheats (Acoustic)” worked well acoustically, as perfectly expected from the boys of Hit the Lights. Singer-songwriter Frank Turner’s “Rock and Roll Romance” was a great track that definitely needed more exposure. Same can be said for“Mr Rock and Roll” by Fake Problems, which had a great set of lyrics and a real bluesy feel. It was definitely a contrast to some of the previous poppy-er tracks. Possibly the best thing about the first disc was that almost every song was an acoustic version of a band's song. It's also great that bands that are less known gets to be presented alongside the more well-established acts.
“Don’t Trust Me (Casey Bates Remix)” by 3OH!3 starts off the second disc. By now, we’ve all heard the much radio-played original, so the remix sounded a little bit more exciting. Needless to say, the revamped version, in all its drum and guitar added glory, sounded more like a Youtube drum cover. Although I am a fan of Innerpartysystem, I wasn’t quite sure about how I would feel about them remixing Cobra Starship’s “Hot Mess.” It was a catchy pop song to begin with, and it felt like the remix was slightly overdone. The song drags on for 4 minutes and 14 seconds, while only 3 minutes has singing.
At first listen, “Saviour (Colin Munroe's Unsung Remix)” by Canada's indie-electro sweetheart Lights, could not be clearly distinguished from the original. Self-dubbed the “female Owl City,” Lights probably carpooled to the same voice-editing convention as Adam Young. VersaEmerge's “Whisperer (Brian Southall Remix)” reinstates the fact that they deserved to be on the compilation mostly dominated by males. Bring Me the Horizon always manages to rack up mixed responses. “Sleep With One Eye Open (Tek One Remix)” is sure to add a couple more arguments to each opposing side. While there is no lack of Oliver Sykes' screams and shouts, the electronic beats adds a weird spin to the song that just doesn't seem to mix well. While I love hearing alternate versions to songs, August Burns Red's “Indonesia (Alternate Mix)” did not live up to the high expectations I had set. It's more or less the same song, except with a few changed up verses.
As soon as I heard EATMEWHILEIMHOT was fronted by Christofer Drew of tween hipster fame, I immediately started to dislike the band. Seeing that their song is called “xXBurritoXx” made me dislike it more. Surprisingly, all this preceding dislike was no match for what I felt when I actually heard the song. I could have gone my entire life without hearing Drew's pig squeals and wailing growls. The song I was probably most excited to hear was “Swing (Live in London)” by Taking Back Sunday. To give an idea of how much I like it, this song almost cancels out the incompetence of “xXBurritoXx” and the I Set My Friends On Fire song prior to it.
The great thing about the Take Action compilations is the cornucopia of genres it has to offers. It's worth noting that genres ranging from electro-pop and techno, to hardcore and punk-rock can all be found on this two-disc compilation. Without a doubt, this compilation offers something to a wide scope of listeners. Although there were a few less-than-satisfactory tracks long the way, it remains a solid compilation from start of the first disc to the end of the second disc.
I really like this compilation series. I would have definitely made mention of Take Notice's track. I always find one amazing band I have never heard of on these compilations, and this year it was Take Notice.
Lol, you should totally write an Eatmewhileimhot review. I agree, it was a solid compilation. Frank Turner is an act that I've heard of numerous times before, but never listened to until now. Thank you very much for reviewing it. Good job.