If you want to know what kind of heavy music the kids in high school are listening to this week, you need not venture further than the latest action movie soundtrack. Despite the fact that MTV continues to fill its days with rap and reality programming, soundtracks like The Punisher show what kids really want to hear — rock and roll.
Unfortunately, lots of what they want to hear is really bad, generic rock and roll. I don’t know if Gloomchen coined the phrase “Puddle of NickelCreed”, but the shoe fits much of this disc. In fact, the first three tracks are from Drowning Pool, Puddle of Mudd, and Nickelback. Edgewater, Trapt, Finger Eleven and Submursed didn’t fall far from the tree and fit right in without missing a click-tracked beat.
I don’t know much about the Punisher character himself other than it’s cool to stick his logo on your skateboard, t-shirt, or back of your car because “OMG SKULLZ R SC4RY OMG WTF!!!???@?!”, but if his character is anything like this album, after he’s done hanging around with high school kids jamming to their music in the parking lot he pulls out an acoustic guitar, lights up a fatty and teaches them some John Denver inspired licks. At least I know where he got his name from now; after listening to a couple of these acoustic tracks you will feel punished too.
Once the school kids have been safely tucked into bed and kissed goodnight, the Punisher can finally start shooting people with Damageplan (featuring Jerry Cantrell), Hatebreed and Seether rocking in the background.
The rest of the songs sound like a round of “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon”. Drowning Pool’s track, “Step Up”, is the first track to be released with their new singer — however, the new singer also appears on “The End Has Come”, working with Ben Moody, HIS first track since leaving Evanescence. Amy Lee, the other half of Evanescense, ALSO appears, working with Seether. There’s also quite possibly the last Queens of the Stone Age song (“Never Say Never”) and, as previously mentioned, Damageplan’s collaboration with Jerry Cantrell. It’s the one track I actually wanted to hear a second time, and comes off like a Pantera track with Jerry Cantrell on vocals. Like Audioslave, it’s a sound that doesn’t sound good on paper but comes off okay through the speakers.
Most of the songs on the soundtrack are unreleased tracks, but in a time where most bands sound alike it doesn’t much matter. There sure seems to be a lot of trivia and turmoil involved in the bands that appear on the Punisher soundtrack, but the music doesn’t back up that excitement or energy.