By Jarret Keene
It’s been too long since I’ve enjoyed a solid Las Vegas-centric punk-rock compilation. The last one was 2007’s Merry X-Mas Dammit From the Double Down Saloon, 16 tracks of reindeer-slaying tunes. (The Vermin’s “Santa Was a Cross-Dressing Nazi” is a classic Christmas carol at my house.) Since then, there have been a few digital-only comps done for charity. But SquidHat Records’ just-released Desert Rats With Baseball Bats is the best, most professional sampler in years.
SquidHat is throwing a party in honor of the CD at 10 p.m. October 11-12 at Double Down Saloon. Many of the bands on the 21 tracks on Desert Rats will perform—Battle Born, Burning Agrestic, the Dirty Panties, Geezus Cryst & Free Beer, The People’s Whiskey, the Quitters, the Seriouslys, S.F.T. and Surrounded by Thieves. Admission is free and you can purchase the compilation there. My favorite cut on the sampler is the throat-punching “As the City Sleeps” by skatecore group Aluminum Falcon (who won’t be at Double Down).