Various artists

Rock Against Bush Vol. 1 (Fat Wreck Chords)

Who knew Gavin Rossdale inspired such animosity within the punk community? Sure, Bush's flashy grunge fluff refigured Kurt Cobain's hard-won angst into product for junior high mall stalkers, and, yeah, getting militant noisenik Steve Albini to produce 1996's Razorblade Suitcase was kind of a coup. But 26 tracks dedicated to their dismissal? Talk about teen spirit. Um, ha ha. The real question this anti-Dubya compilation asks is: When was the last time the Get Up Kids and Ministry rubbed elbows? Here the Kids improve on the wan emo-rock they've been making lately with "Lion and the Lamb," a pretty little plea for peace with room for both slashing guitars and tinkling pianos; two tracks later, Al Jourgensen observes that "half the world is down the toilet" over grinding synth-metal that proves it. And how do the Descendents not suck yet? Their "Sad State of Affairs" is a satisfying blast of taut pop-punk with skank in its step and compelling ambivalence in its spiel; it's followed by Authority Zero's younger, dumber "Revolution." Elsewhere, (relative) variety rules: Against Me!'s punkabilly blues, Strike Anywhere's clean-cut hardcore, the Ataris' acoustic pop, Denali's post-Portishead art-rock. All that's missing? Gavin Rossdale's hunky yelp.

 
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