Take Action!, Vol. 6

Another year, another Take Action! compilation. The fight against suicide will, unfortunately, never be over, so it's at least nice to see charitable people like those at Hopeless and Sub City consistently doing their part to raise awareness on the subject and provide resources for those in need. To do so, they've rounded up another diverse collection of songs spanning punk, emo and indie rock in the early 21st century, drawing listeners in with tracks from old favorites alongside the ripe opportunity to discover new loves. A PSA from the Red Jumpsuit Apparatus opens Vol. 6's first disc (Rise Against handles disc two's intro). The music then launches forth with My Chemical Romance's dramatic "This Is How I Disappear," followed with strong showings by Senses Fail ("Calling All Cars"), Paramore (the sweetly urgent "Emergency") and the sisterly, slightly haunting pop/rock of Meg & Dia's "Monster." Even All Time Low's quintessential pop-punk ("Coffee Shop Soundtrack") is a good time. The disc's early melody eventually drops into much heavier terrain, ending with cuts from metal and hardcore acts like Drop Dead, Gorgeous, In Flames, Into Eternity, and Misery Signals. The stronger of the two discs, the second offers up excellent tracks from relative punk veterans like Rise Against, the Casualties, and Anti-Flag, and it's actually kind of funny, the placement of No Trigger's "Bust Tropical" right before Strike Anywhere's heartfelt "Instinct," because for second, you'd swear they were the same band. The Falcon and Heavens carry the flag for well-done side projects (of the Lawrence Arms/Alkaline Trio and Alkaline Trio, respectively). Indie pop shines with songs by the Hush Sound ("Wine Red"), Lakes ("Indian Lover") and Copeland ("Control Freak"), while Damiera lends the vaguely Coheed-esque "Via Invested" and These Arms Are Snakes' snotty "Horse Girl" goes down with a nice chaotic punch. With partial proceeds going to charity, Take Action! compilations have always been great investments (and small ones at that with price tags under $10). And with this year's bonus DVD of practically 30 music videos to go along -- Emery, Hellogoodbye, Converge, Murder by Death and Set Your Goals among contributors -- there's really no easier way to help a great cause and sample some great new music at the same time. ~ Corey Apar

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