Punk and hardcore abound in tour-based compilation

Backpacks? You would be forgiven for asking what possible connection backpacks could have to the rock scene, other than musicians maybe using one to carry their packed lunches to a gig. Corporate sponsorship has become an almost necessary evil in today’s world of MTV ratings and sales target figures, but at least with festivals like Leeds and Reading the sponsor’s relevance is clear and direct – every rocker loves a cold beer after all (straight edgers aside), even if it is a pint of that piss. But are backpacks really that obscure, do they really take no place in the world of rock music? You’d only have to venture as far as your nearest town centre to find out. The swathe of verminous kids in Slipknot hoodies that plague every cityscape at weekends (or let’s face it, most weekdays – the truant-playing tykes) will, almost without exception, sport the latest in low-slung satchel-chic. I’d even go so far as to suggest an imbued mythical power; that the only difference between the rock-chav and the more traditional tracksuit-chav (who would readily denounce rock as a plaything for freaks and losers) is the backpack itself, with the only remaining common denominators being petty crime and a healthy collection of ASBO’s. Whilst that may be a very bourgeois view, I just don’t care – besides, unlike shoplifting and joyriding, there’s no law against it.
So then, the backpack has become as essential a part of the rockers repertoire as the music itself, but what of the music in this instance; is the ‘Eastpack Resistance Tour Compilation’ a CD worth weighing down your bag with?
Considering the essentially mainstream nature of the sponsor, the bands featured are refreshingly low-key and independent. Any fears of ‘another pop-punk’ compilation are assuaged within seconds of Unearth’s metalcore assualt; an unsubtle opening statement of menacing intent. There is also some more punishing brutality from Born From Pain and Cataract, the more traditional hardcore stylings of Sick Of It All, and old-school punk from Slapshot and The Bones. Basically everything on this compilation falls into one of those three categories, and with a strong showing from such luminaries as Death By Stereo, Ignite and Agnostic Front, ‘Eastpack Resistance Tour…’ is as good an introduction as any for those just beginning to delve into the underground scene.