Various Past Present: Breaking Out The Classics

Looking to celebrate their storied history, Past Present: Breaking Out The Classics finds hardcore label Revelation Records issuing a compilation where current acts/colleagues record tunes from yesteryear in an effort to unite the past and present. While the idea ostensibly comes from Youth Brigade's anniversary box set (or those tribute albums of the '90s), it's still an invigorating concept, provided one actually knows or cares about the bands doing the covers. The material is somewhat unimportant, given that what we're hearing is a representation of the here-and-now. Still, when hearing Sick Of It All hammer out Warzone's "As One" or Damnation A.D. blasting away at Gorilla Biscuits' "Hold Your Ground," one can see how and where influences took hold. Rounded out by a wealth of other notables (Death By Stereo, Set Your Goals, Terror) offering their take on the likes of Shai Hulud, Civ, Youth of Today and so on, it's possible certain tracks will compel listeners to do some exploration on their own. Still, while Past Present is interesting, the plethora of predictable NYHC influences ends up rendering most of the work overtly similar. Bands blend together into streams of the same song over and over again. Revelation and its roster of past/present bands are clearly capable of more than this, but as is, at least we have a substantial document of their massive basic hardcore catalogue. (Revelation)