Saturday, March 31, 2012

Various Artist – The First Crush Compilation (1997)

The First Crush Compilation spawned a stellar hybrid of some of the greatest punk/emo/hardcore acts to emerge over the past decade. Emo nearly became a part of the mainstream in the new millennium with the chart success of Jimmy Eat World and the critical acclaim of At the Drive-In, so a reissue of The First Crush Compilation is appropriate. It's a collection of rare tracks and hard-to-find treasures that pop kids will cling to while sifting through personal childhood moments and/or musical experiences of the acts featured on the album. Hardcore punk fever rages against the machine from the likes of Thoughts of Ionesco ("Upward, Inward & Under"), I Hate Myself ("This Isn't the Tenka-Inchi-Buddokai"), and Yellow Road Priest ("Song #7"), while Stalag Seventeen ("Lack of a Better Word") and Sore Loser ("Nodding Off") churn with emo-pop appeal. Additional standout cuts by Pop Unknown, Mineral, Beast, and Airport Architect bring together the intense allure of what made these musical underground communities so great.

The First Crush Compilation is considered by many to be one of the defining collections of the then-budding genre we now refer to (and subsequently disregard) as Emo (alongside volumes one and two of Deep Elm's Emo Diaries). Most notable for rare/unreleased contributions from (future) heavyweights At the Drive-In, Mineral and Jimmy Eat World, as well as stellar cuts from underground darlings Thoughts of Ionesco, Jazz June and I Hate Myself, the compilation basically serves as a beginner's guide to Emo. Undoubtedly, the presence of the aforementioned big hitters is what's going to make the compilation fly off the shelves, but it's important to note that a gaggle of also-rans and never-weres, like Jessica Six and Yellow Road Priest, deliver the goods in spades. Thick as Thieves neither added to nor removed material from the original compilation, so this reissue serves primarily to reacquaint listeners with the harshly melodic sounds of underground youth circa 1997. On a related tip, the disc's re-release can also be seen in an educational light, teaching all the weepy newbies out there exactly where bands like Cursive and Dashboard Confessional learned how to transform their romantic misgivings into fairly poignant lost-youth anthems.

Jason Jackowiak


1. Jessica Six - Vendors Of Greater Things (2:23)
2. Emory Swank - Second Street (1:51)
3. Mineral - Sadder Star (3:05)
4. The Tie That Binds - Grade K 79-80 (4:57)
5. I Hate Myself - This Isn't The Tenka-Ichi-Buddokat (3:33)
6. Still Life - Untitled (2:18)
7. Thoughts Of Ionesco - Upward, Inward & Under (5:19)
8. Yellow Road Priest - Song 7 (1:44)
9. Jimmy Eat World - Reason 346 (4:21)
10. Eversor - Leave Me Behind (3:49)
11. Stalag Seventeen - Lack Of A Better Word (3:43)
12. Jazz June - Russians Part Two (4:12)
13. Pop Unknown - Unknown (2:19)
14. Indiana - I Was There (5:15)
15. No Reply - In Between (4:03)
16. One Car Pile Up - Nothing This Time (4:08)
17. Sore Loser - Nodding Off (3:44)
18. Driver Eleven - Five Style (2:12)
19. Airport Architect - Comparing Notes (4:45)
20. Beast - Philip Morris Crematorium (0:11)
21. At The Drive-In - Initation (3:54)
22. Will And Johnny - Bingo Time (1:53)


  1. Not sure if you still check this page but I'd love a re-up on this album too. Thank you for everything!