May 29, 2012 - Adeline
Larry Livermore has long been King Midas in the world of pop-punk. Despite leaving Lookout! Records, the influential label he founded, in 1997, he’s always kept a keen eye on upstart U.S. punk bands. On the 16-song compilation The Thing That Ate Larry Livermore, Livermore joins forces with Billie Joe Armstrong’s Adeline Records to collect some of the best pop-punk bands currently pogoing in large and small towns across America.
First off, there aren’t really any duds among the chosen bands, which is always a good sign for any compilation. Likewise, the amount of really great punk bands on here is staggering. We know there’s been a groundswell resurgence of catchy, raw pop-punk bands in the past couple years, but hearing 16 of them back-to-back with short blasts and catchy refrains really puts the strength of the current scene into perspective. Livermore also has a knack for picking great songs and smooth sequencing, with each track on the comp flowing to the next. (Jumping from the Max Levine Ensemble’s raunchy “Anthem For A New Morning After” to the more G-rated “Good Looks” by Emily’s Army is just one stroke of genius.)
Standout tracks include contributions from Dear Landlord, Mixtapes, the Dopamines, Lipstick Homicide, Mean Jeans, the Hextalls and the Copyrights. The formula never strays too far from three-chord melodic punk rock, which is perfectly fine by us. The Thing That Ate Larry Livermore bolsters the theory that not only are there more than enough bands carrying on the spirit of the early Lookout! Records scene, but it might just be time for the King Midas of pop-punk to return to his neon green throne.