Most punkers can name at least one compilation from whatever part of the scene they belong to, my cd collection was created during the 90’s and punk compilations were a huge part of that.
The big compilations were the “Punk O Rama” (Epitaph Records) and “Fat Music” (Fat Wreck Chords) series, these US releases were very popular everywhere and Australia was no exception. These compilations contained songs from many of the punk bands that I was into like Bad Religion, Descendents, NOFX, Offspring, Pennywise and Rancid while also giving me the opportunity to discover other bands that played similar music.
If you ever wanted a way to measure the impact of the Epitaph and Fat Wreck Chords compilations on the Australian punk scene just look to “Aussie Fat Wreck Chords Tribute” by Dead Memory Records, its 15 tracks of Australian punk bands like Alex The Kid, Blind Man Death Stare, Nerdlinger and Postscript playing covers of songs that appeared on the Fat Wreck Chords comps. It was released on the 27th of October 2015 on the bandcamp platform and is available as a free download. (Bandcamp Link)
More recently on the 27th of July 2018 Dead Memory Records released “Aussie Epitaph Records Tribute” which was full of great Aussie punk bands like All Hope Remains, Fake News, Incomplete, No Quarter, Northwood and The Phosphorus Bombs paying tribute to the music that inspired them.(Bandcamp Link)
My collection of compilations in the 90’s included the warped tour 98 & 99 releases which included some home grown talent like Bodyjar, Frenzal Rhomb, Nancy Vandal, The Living End and Toe To Toe alongside international punk bands I already listened to like Blink 182, Less Than Jake, The Vandals and Unwritten Law. I also had “Punk You” which was released in 1999, it was a 2 disc release with disc 1 being all Australian content and disc 2 international content.
One of my favourites was “Short Music For Short People” from Fat Wreck Chords, I think the idea was get as many punk bands as you can to put a 30 second song on a cd and it included almost all of my favourite punk bands. This year I got my first vinyl punk compilation when I reviewed “Short Fuse Vol. 1” by Wreckless Enterprise which was a similar compilation of short punk songs featuring bands like Dirty Slutz, Fangin’ Felines and The Not Nots. (Review Link)(Bandcamp Link)
Another good recent comp from the New South Wales scene is “Compact Death Digital Audio” which had some amazing cover art by Glenno Smith and featured bands like Amateur Drunks, Chinese Burns Unit, No Doz and one of my favourites The Leftards. All the bands on this release contributed 2 tracks which I really like because it gives you a better idea of a bands style before you sink hours into tracking down more of their tunes.
Many good Aussie punk and hardcore compilations came out in the 90’s like “Promotional Use Only” by Intent Records which featured Caustic Soda, Goons Hired Goons, H-Block 101 and Half Mongrel(Bandcamp Link)”Call It Whatever You Want #2” by Snapshot Records which featured Bastard Squad, Kermit The Fascist and Wrong Body(Bandcamp Link)and “So This Is Jeff’s Victoria” by Noise Pollution Records which featured Corruption, Headcase, Oxymorons and Walsh Street Cop Killers(Bandcamp Link)
At some point in 2005 I bought a sampler/compilation called “10 Years of Care Factor” by Care Factor Records. Its a very treasured part of my music collection as it features my favourite Aussie punk band No Idea and other Australian punk, ska and hardcore bands like Addiction 64 and Area 7. This was the decade I started finding other compilations at the nearest record store like the Kung Fu Records sampler series “Punk Rock Is Your Friend” and the Hellcat Records series “Give ‘Em The Boot“
Last year I was talking about putting a punk sampler together to give away at a show and the awesome people at In Exile Records jumped in and said that they would make it a legitimate release. The label let me go about talking to bands and a handful of really nice people helped me get in contact with No Idea, I was living the dream and the label was doing all the hardwork. Long story short, a song I recorded in 97 and a song from my favourite band were featured on the same compilation “Punx In Exile Vol. 1” which was released on the 14th of September 2018(Bandcamp Link)