Various Artists

Rubber City Records: Decade in Wax (Rubber City Records)

Rubber City Records: Decade in Wax
Rubber City Records: Decade in Wax collects 10 of label head Clinton Bott's favorite songs from his back catalog, plus rare and unreleased tracks from under-recognized hardcore and rock groups like the Pricks and Strange Division. Each band is more brutal than the last, and few scenes can boast a comp that's both this coherent and good.

Bott also plays guitar in the throwback hardcore outfit Don Austin, and this disc documents the origins of that band. Featuring DA singer Larry Gargus, Splinter contributes 1994's "The Kindly Ones," a cut as heavy and tough as anything from most nationally regarded metalcore acts (sans the formulaic elements). Essentially Don Austin with a jazz-influenced drummer, the sophisticated Unholy Three contribute such tunes as a muffled but indelible cover of the Cars' "Just What I Needed." The Strange Division, one of two active bands on the disc, carry on the city's tradition of edgy new-wave rock: 1999's "Painting Patterns" is full of off-key non-harmonies and lacks all the polish that makes too many modern punk records so dull.

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