(Stiff Pole Records)
In honor of Richard "Big Stiff" Konwinski, who passed this past July in Tampa, I'll be juggling between the County Grind and Crossfade blogs doing my Blast From the Past thing on the record label that he founded, Stiff Pole Records, that, in my opinion, came to define an exciting era in Florida's punk-rock scene.
This cleverly titled compilation disc came out in 1995 at the height of Stiff Pole's immersion of all things Florida and abroad. Case in point, here we have notorious hardcorists No Fraud, Miami's bastard chirren Load, and No Idea Record's version of the Offspring Less Than Jake along the styles of the UK's Decadent Few, Canada's omelets-centric McRackins and California's Tiltwheel.
Does it all work together? Shit, it kinda fucking does. From Less Than Jake holding back on the full-fledged ska-punk thing to Load being the bunch of degenerates that we all loved in the '90s to the McRackins bringing on the weird weirdness of their bizarre egg-o-licious mime-styled makeup to beautiful Anglo Kaya leading the Kukl-like vocals for the Decadent Few; it works!
More impressive is No Fraud's series of medleys satisfying their four tracks... because that is another thing, the six bands got four tracks to shine and they all did in measuring cups. Some of these tracks appear in 7" only releases or in Stiff Pole sanctioned albums; in any case, they do the job.
There's sweet pop-punk, HC, straight-on rockers and they all work. This little comp is completely out of print but it does crop up here and there in your affordable digital bins of Amazon.com and/or eBay. Seek it out, it's good and oh so 1995. But in a good way. Honest! Do I ever lie?