Review Revue: Virus 100

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a huge fan of music compilations as a medium – from mixtapes to big fancy label showcases, it’s just a great way to share a bunch of new music with people – and generally, even if you’re not into the whole thing you’ll at least find a few new artists to get excited about. I guess you could say that’s kind of what good radio stations are trying to do too, now that I think about it.

I’m also a big fan of numbers, and exciting combinations of seemingly significant numbers. And you know I love the punk rock and other assorted weirdness, particularly from the early ’90s. So obviously this 1992 collection from Alternative Tentacles, marking their 100th release and 10th anniversary, filled with an insane variety of artists covering The Dead Kennedys, is my new favorite thing (that I should have been aware of for the past couple decades). Nice to see at least a few people agreed with me back when it first showed up at KCMU.

“The Les Thugs track is absolutely terrific; but for me, the Disposable Heroes version of ‘California Uber Alles’ comes up way short.”

“I disagree - I love it! A diff version than on their CD.”

“Surprisingly weak to me. Just goes to show how truly unique of an arena the DK’s were working in during their heyday. Nomeansno, Les Thugs + the Heroes hit the mark but the rest are mediocre at best.”

“Yes, this is great, in so many ways . . . how about about H?”

“Yay!”

“Spectacular! A classic!”

“I love it. In celebration of their 100th release, Alt. Tentacles put together this marvy compilation of Dead Kennedys covers from the likes of . . . L7, who seem the perfect choice for ‘Let’s Lynch the Landlord’ (yet Faith No More’s version here is unique in itself, a laid-back barroom tune with backing accordion and Mike Patton sounding almost like Elvis Presley). Versions of ‘Ill in the Head,’ ‘Drug Me,’ and ‘Chemical Warfare‘ by Victim’s Family, Sepultura, and Steel Pole Bathtub respectively, simply bake. I can’t think of anyone better than Napalm Death to do ‘Nazi Punks . . .’ And you can’t understand a single word! (Perhaps for this version we could not red or yellow dot it?) Heck, the whole thang is lovely - check the back for who duz whut.”

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