Shang-A-Lang Collection

There's something endearing about the path some DIY bands choose to take that would make others shudder in repulsion. Whether crashing on flop house floors, siphoning gas or living off of nickels and dimes per diems, hitting the open road heedlessly will either end in triumph or, more likely, tragedy. Shang-A-Lang are no stranger to these pitfalls, as the New Mexico-based punks have taken the do-it-yourself approach since the band's inception, mapping out tours and self-recording material. Collection is an anthology of poorly recorded, out-of-print seven inches loaded with some of the grittiest and most earnest pop punk since Jaw Breaker's ETC. Even with a no frills production quality, hook-laden gems like "Fashion over Community," "Summertime" and even a hasty version of Lou Reed's "I'm so Free" couldn't be more effectively raw. Collection is a testament to true passion for the scene, and with their penchant for cutting out the middleman, Shang-A-Lang definitely have a firm grasp on what punk rock is all about. (Facepalm)