Various Mojo Knockout Hits ’99

Finally….some new Goldfinger! Since the departure of longtime bassist Simon Williams, rabid fans have been devoid of new Goldfinger tracks since their last album, Hang-Ups. Knockout Hits ’99, the new Mojo Records sampler, features two tracks from their upcoming album, which is due for release sometime in the next few months. “I’m Down” is classic Goldfinger, (think “Only A Day”) with a driving punk beat and melodic vocals. The other track, “Pick A Fight” is more pop-punk and would fit in more on Hang-Ups. They’re both excellent tracks, and it’s great just to hear some new Goldfinger. The sampler also features two songs each from Pilfers, the Ernies and Reel Big Fish. Based on the tracks on this CD, the new Pilfers release, Chawalaleng, will be finding its way into the collections of ska, punk and reggae fans very soon. “Mr. Exploita” is a punk-metal influenced track with Coolie Ranx’s inimitable vocal style lightening things up. The second Pilfers track, “What’s New” is an energetic, Pietasters-esque ska song, which is without a doubt the highlight of the disc. The Ernies are somewhat of an oddity for Mojo Records. Neither ska nor punk, they sound like a second-rate version of Limp Bizkit, complete with heavy guitar, rap vocals and, of course, turntables. “Polarized” and “Organism” should probably be skipped, even for fans of that genre. The songs tend to drag on and are quite repetitive. In the spirit of “saving the best for last,” Mojo’s marquee band, Reel Big Fish, are represented by “The Kids Don’t Like It,” from their latest Mojo release, Why Do They Rock So Hard? and a live version of what may be the most popular third wave ska song, “Sellout.” The only disappointment with Reel Big Fish is there’s no new material here, just a previously unreleased live track. Since the departure of a drummer and a trombone player, it would be interesting to hear some new music from the band. (Mojo)