Hellcat Records has some good music. Not all of it, granted, but enough to warrant some attention. One of the best ways to get an idea of what is being offered is from the Give 'Em the Boot series. Back in 2004 the fourth part of this series came out, and it is worth looking into.
Opening with Rancid's "Killing Zone" is a good way to start any release. Following it up with The Aggrolites' "Dirty Reggae" is a good way to kill it. That is precisely why this CD does not see a lot of rotation in my stereo. Yeah, I like The Slackers as much as the next guy, and you can't go wrong with the Dropkick Murphys or HorrorPops, but for all those good bands there's stuff like Chris Murray's "Let There Be Peace," which makes you wonder just what the hell you it is that happens to be coming out your speakers.
I know some can view Hellcast as boutique label for Tim Armstrong, and I have nothing wrong with that. If that is the case, I do have to say that Armstrong's taste in music is very questionable in places. Maybe he really, really likes Tiger Army. I don't know. I do know that this sampler makes me wonder what he is drinking. I know this came out in 2004, but looking at the stuff on the label now shows that little has changed at this Epitaph offshoot.
At least Armstrong is consistent.
The first in this series of CDs had much the same problem, but it felt fresher. It felt like it mattered more. Listening to this fourth one makes it sound like status quo. That said, it is still a great introduction to the type of music you can expect to find on the label. Just don't expect anything truly mind blowing to come out of the experience.
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