Review: Various Artists – “Protect: A Benefit for the National Association to Protect Children”

NoFX’s “Leaving Jesusland” sets the tone for this 26-song comp: a bitter anthem slamming self-righteous supporters of the ruling elite who battle same-sex marriage but whose sense of social responsibility may not extend to helpless children lost within the nation’s family services programs.

But the disc is far from heavy-handed, overflowing instead with an energetic mix of southern California punk, guitar-driven alt-and pop-rock, and post-hardcore explosions, much of it unreleased elsewhere.

The Lovekill, Anti-Flag, Darkest Hour, The Ergs and Smoke Or Fire burn among the brightest, though Jawbreaker fans will devour a live take on “Want” and someone should probably toss Joan Jett a copy of The Soviettes’ “Middle of the Night.” Joey Cape and Matt Skiba pop in here or there with their acoustic guitars and who could resist hearing Coalesce erupt as they offer a take on The Jesus Lizard’s “Mouth Breather?” Not me. – Punk Planet, May/June 2006

About the author

Justin Vellucci is a staff writer for PopMatters, Spectrum Culture, and MusicTAP, a contributor to Pittsburgh Current, and a former staffer for Popdose, Punk Planet and Delusions of Adequacy. His music writing has appeared in national magazines such as American Songwriter, alt-pubs like The Brooklyn Rail, Pittsburgh CityPaper and San Diego CityBeat, blogs Swordfish, Punksburgh and Linoleum, and the Gannett magazine Jetty. He lives in Pittsburgh.

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