UNSOUND - VOLUME 1 [Epitaph Records]
By: Amnesty Phillip

After 10 years running, Epitaph series "Punk-O-Rama" has been discontinued. During it's run, it produced ten releases and it always aimed to top the previous release. However, with every ending comes a new beginning --- or in this case, a new series.

The first half of the disk features material by bands of today's generation such as, From First To Last, Escape The Fate, The Matches, Motion City Soundtrack and Matchbook Romance. Though these bands have one thing in common (a steady rise in today's scene) the band's are quite different in their own right. From First To Last and Escape The Fate provide rabid riffs, unique vocals and passion-aggression lyrics while The Mathces, Motion City Soundtrack and Matchbook Romance fill in the void and dish out the dance, smooth melodies, stellar guitar chord progression and synth-rock tunes that really get your toes tapping and your blood pumping.

The compilation loses itself when bands like Vanna, Converge, Some Girls, Dangerdoom and Sage Francis begin to play. Though these bands/artists aren't exactly my cup of tea, these are the artists that diversify the album and break the mold of the pop/rock/screamo/rock genre. However, putting rap in a mixture of "punk" bands is rare and perhaps, a bit unorthodox.

The album wouldn't be complete without the label's most prevail artists, Bad Religion, Bouncing Souls, and Pennywise who are three top contendors for major influences on many up and coming bands today.

A bonus to Unsound is the DVD that comes along with the CD which includes ten music videos of the artists that appear on the compilation. It also features a video of a different track, giving you a chance to check out more than one track from the artist.

As an avid follower of Punk-O-Rama, I'll be honest to say that I was disappointed that the series had been discontinued. However, after hearing Unsound, I feel that this is going to be an even better series than POR ever was. This compilation holds a lot more diversity and intensity and keeps the listener intrigued. It's that perfect soundtrack for Epitaph and Warped Tour followers. It surely has the potential to become a classic, although I feel it's already made it's mark.