Tony Hawk is a legendary skateboarder, for many reasons. Not only is he one of the best skateboarders in the history of the sport and inspiring many to take that up with his influence, he also has a series of video games that are under his name. The first two games for the Playstation One were redone in 2020 for Playstation 4 by Vicarious Visions for a fresh appeal to video gamers across the world. In addition, this soundtrack (available on Spotify) has some songs from the original video games, plus some welcome additions to the list of music there. Given the history and context, let’s take a look at the music here, which should be an interesting listen.
First is Connect To Consume by A. Swayze and The Ghosts. It begins with a basic drum beat, before Joy Division style bass guitar enters, followed quickly by guitars and singing. In fact, the whole thing is an anti-consumerist rant, done in a very English Punk sort of sound. It is very brilliant, and a nice start to this compilation. It makes perfect sense for a band to record this sort of song in the 21st century, when corporations have more wealth and power than all countries in the world combined. Good song.
Next is Misery Guts by Alex Lahey. This one begins with dual tracked guitars, before launching into a great heavy rock song that sounds great. The female singing is a nice touch, and the loud punk guitars sound nice and well executed. A good heavy rock and punk inspired piece, sounds very good. It gets very hectic towards the end, with some intense guitar sounds and volume swells. Another high quality song.
Let’s Do It by All Talk comes next. This one has some electronic beats to begin with, before mentioning a load of semi-drug references. This song, quite frankly, is terrible. Still, it is an interesting (and very odd) addition to this compilation, but it is not a good recommendation to listen to. Skip this one if you can. Rubbish.
Life Support by American Nightmare follows up as the next song. It starts with a raw, punk sound and goes at a very fast pace. This is likely hardcore punk styled music, but sounds better than anything Black Flag ever did. A short, sharp and quick musical piece, this one is very good. The breakdown in the middle is interesting too. Very good song.
Following that is All Souls’ Day by The Ataris. This one sounds quite a lot like Blink 182, and directly discusses relationship issues at hand. For a band with such a name as The Ataris, you’d expect some electronic based music. However, it is a very good and typical skate punk song that does focus on being broken hearted. A straightforward and very simple punk pop piece, this is very good to listen to, when the mood strikes. Good addition to this compilation. It oddly fades out after a few minutes, before some silence occurs. Strange ending aside, it is a good song.
After that is Step It Up by Backchat which is a quirky and fun listen. It is a short Hip Hop influenced and inspired track, with elements of EDM in it. Very cool, and the rhymes here are precise and enjoyable for this sort of music. It is good to hear a huge variety of music from these games, this is definitely a highlight so far. Awesome tune and a great choice for this compilation.
You by Bad Religion comes next. It is straight up hardcore punk which has an emo edge to it. It is a good listen regardless, and Bad Religion are a well known and reputable band for this sort of music. Good idea to add this to the compilation, nice to hear some well loved music that is a bit different to what is on the radio today.
In Control by Baker Boy follows, with a rather lush sounding electronic intro, before going into a good Rap music piece that is articulate and quickly spoken. It sounds very much like older Hip Hop music than what you hear from today’s rappers. There is a sort of singalong chorus piece here, making this once again, different. But that is the purpose of this compilation, variety with consistency matters. Fresh and funky.
Next is Afraid Of Heights by Billy Talent is a return to the loud and pounding Rock music. This song is very catchy, with a rather Indie Rock feel to it. Quite catchy, and a good song to hear about pressing relationship issues, with imagery related to the fear of heights. Pleading for a lover not to think twice again, this is a good Rock song. The outro is particular good.
The following track is The Struggle by Black Prez and KID SOMETHING. Beginning with a trippy Hip Hop/Rap/Breaks feel, before going into a decent Rap song that is quite catchy. It has some decent street talk rhymes that sound wonderful about life’s struggles, and it is about keeping your head above the water, especially financially. A decent and catchy tune, it seems more real than most Rap music today. Good tune.
South by CHAII comes next. This piece sounds like a recent contemporary tune. It sounds like a female computer voice Rapping (although it actually isn’t) and this is a serious disappointment on this compilation. Total rubbish, skip this one as well, if possible.
Confisco comes next by Charlie Brown Jr. (nice name). It is a Rock/Rap tune, but even Kid Rock is better than this. Which says a lot, the shouting on this recording is just downright awful. If this is the best of Tony Hawk’s music, then he obviously doesn’t take music too seriously. A real bum track, avoid avoid avoid.
Next is Heavy Metal Winner by Consumed. It actually sounds pretty good, with heavy metal guitars and a Punk sensibility about it. It sounds like a British Blink 182, and is fast, furious and interesting. Good piece for the remake of Tony Hawk 1 + 2, this is one of the better ones. The musicianship here is very good, although it is obviously not everybody’s cup of tea. Good tune.
Following is Police Truck by the Dead Kennedys. This begins with some Surf Rock style guitars, which is rather odd. It is a very good Dead Kennedys song, along many of their other songs. Since this compilation is rather hit and miss, this is one of the better tracks from it. The guitar solo and guitar playing is great, as is the presence of Jello Biafra here, the singer. Awesome song.
Duck Eat Duck World by Destroy Boys is next in line. This is a good female Punk sort of anthem, which is a little retro. A very good listen, but very loud and intense. The guitar break in the middle is pretty cool, and is a little different, but good at the same time.
IN-TO-IT by DZ Deathrays is a very straightforward Punk rock song that is actually pretty good. Loud thunderous beats are here, along with guitars and awesome screaming. This piece is an interesting listen for a Punk Rock song, and is full of some different twists and turns about it. A fun song to hear. There is a lot of fuzz guitar towards the end, and some screaming too. Cool.
The next track is Here and Now by The Ernies. It begins with some Punk guitars, before some beats and singing enter. This is not a good song, and in fact by this point, most of the compilation is worth avoiding. It seems that, if this is contemporary Rock music, it is no wonder people are not listening to it compared to the more electronic sounds emerging these days. Once again, hit skip. You’re not missing out on much.
Following is Vilified by Even Rude. This has a creepy melody at the start, before heavy guitars kick in. This is one of the improvements on this recording, despite having some fairly ordinary lyrics. It is well constructed though, and no doubt a good effort musically. The guitar solo is pretty interesting though. Some interesting music touches are on this song, nice to hear that.
West Coast by FIDLAR comes next. It is downright awful, and mixes Punk Rock vocals with the worst of production and arrangements. Honestly, couldn’t Tony Hawk pick some better tracks on this compilation? Sadly, no. This is truly horrible to hear, this song. No wonder millennials dig people like Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande, this is terrible. Skip, and save yourself the pain listening to this awful, awful song. The outro is also terrible too.
Evil Eye by Fu Manchu arrives next. This begins with some well done wah-wah and heavily distorted fuzz guitar, before launching into a decent Fu Manchu song that is way better than the track before it. It sounds like a focused and listenable effort, and thoroughly deserves a place on this compilation. The guitar solo is also pretty good, sounding like super fuzzy Metal music. Great to hear. Good use of vocals, instrumentation and sound in general.
Next is Superman by Goldfinger which has a Fender Stratocaster sound and very summer feel to the song. It sounds pretty good, and is a fresh and inspired listen here. It’s neither dull nor trash, just a cheerful and upbeat tune that is actually worth listening. It is a refreshing listen, and a good song in the postmodern world. Nice to hear. A great listen from start to finish.
Following is Sedona by JunkBunny which begins with some dark sounding guitar acoustic guitar playing, before crashing into a dark sounding rock song. It sounds very good, and is a good effort here. Very Punk Rock and anthemic, this is a good listen. The guitar solo is very good listening, and the energy of the song is very good here. Enjoyable.
May 16 by Lagwagon begins with some crunchy sounding guitars, before going into a Hardcore Punk style sound about it. This sounds a lot like Blink 182, and is very suitable for this kind of music. A short, sharp and listenable slice of Punk fury, this is a better example of how this compilation should be. Excellent song. A must hear from this compilation.
Bomb Drop by Less Than Jake is next. It is a weird one, being a fast Punk song with horns in it. It has some talk about war and bombs being dropped. A good effort, but seems a little lacking. In any case, it is musically acceptable here, so you don’t need to skip it. A weird combination of sound that actually sounds good. The singing is quite good here too. The guitars sound massive here.
Next is bloody valentine by Machine Gun Kelly. It starts off with some retro 1980s production done by modern rock bands to death. It’s an okay song, but nothing hugely special about it. The singer sounds completely bored by being a musician, and is not great at hitting notes. It’s okay to hear, but only okay. Rather forgettable to be fair.
Following is Bass by Merkules, Hopsin and Tech N9ne. It begins with some outer space style electronic sounds, before going into a fast Rap piece that honestly should have never been made. There is good Rap and then there is Rap that is highly forgettable. This unfortunately, is the latter. It is neither interesting nor listenable. A terrible track, and skippable totally.
No Cigar by Millencolin comes next. It starts with good guitar chords and rolling drums, before going into a fairly normal Punk track. It is a good listen, but nothing exceptional. It is a sad reminder of the quality of this compilation, being overwhelmingly trash. This is okay, but only okay. Good for the game, but otherwise fairly forgettable.
Let’s Ride by MxPx comes after, with a great drum intro. And that’s about it. The guitars sound terrible here, and although the singing is rather good, it is a fairly standard and ordinary track. If this music is reflective of anything, it is why Rock music is dead today. A bit melancholy, and quite forgettable for a song.
Next is Pin The Tail On The Donkey by Naughty By Nature. It’s actually refreshingly good for a Rap tune, has a decent melody and beat to it, and is a good listen. Fresh, fun and well rhymed, this is a good example of an artist using their abilities to the best effort. Awesome stuff, definitely worth a listen. Well constructed and delivered. Good Hip Hop/Rap music.
Following is Blood Brothers by Papa Roach which is actually a good track, with heavy guitars and a good bass melody to boot. It bursts into a metal sound that is phenomenal, with a touch of Rage Against The Machine about it. Great music, and definitely worth hearing. Direct, loud and effective, this is a better example of the music on this compilation. Singing directly about the nature and use of power, this is a very good song.
Mid 20’s Skateboarder by Pkew Pkew Pkew comes next, and sounds pretty good. It is an ode to the fine art of skateboarding itself, and although is a little repetitive, does seem a fairly okay track to listen to. Short and sweet, it is a decent track. Nice to hear this song.
When Worlds Collide by Powerman 5000 is a weird track from this compilation. It sounds a lot like Marilyn Manson, but is a really good song regardless. It is catchy and completely awesome. Seemingly, the second half of this compilation is a massive improvement over the first half. Fun and awesome listening here.
Next is Jerry Was A Race Car Driver by Primus. It begins with a car engine starting, and has a weird sounding intro. It is absolutely terrible, and sounds like the worst of garage band rock. Whoever signed this band must have been on a bad batch of drugs, a terrible song and never worth hearing again after the first listen. Avoid.
Following is Guerrilla Radio by Rage Against The Machine. This is a decent song by the group, and is very nice and heavy rock that actually makes sense to include on this compilation. A short, awesome and thoroughly listenable song, this is decent music. Some decent guitar pyrotechnics are here to listen to. The second half in particular is amazing.
She’s Famous Now by Reel Big Fish comes next, and sounds bizarre. It’s actually pretty good, but is very wacky, with some extra instrumentation on it that makes it sound different. Lyrically telling the tale of an ex-girlfriend who becomes famous, it is an interesting topic. Good song nonetheless here, and well done.
Deathwire by Rough Francis follows, and begins with some Sex Pistols style riffs, before some rather shouty singing commences, which ruins the track a little. It would have been better to tone it down a bit in that sense, otherwise a good song, just needs a little rethinking. Listenable, at least.
The next track is Let Me In by Screaming Females. It begins with some thin sounding guitars, wobbly vocals and nothing really special about it. Female artists generally are inspirational, but this is disappointing. It seemingly has singing about nonsensical subject matter. But musically it is just awful. Avoid this one as well.
Following is Shutdown by Skepta which sounds weird for a Rap tune musically, and lyrically is a typical Rap tune. It is a good, but not great tune about fighting against difficulties in life. Rap has done better efforts in its history, and this is a good example. It’s not outright bad, just very meh. Fairly repetitive, too.
Run It Up Pt. II by Spilt Milk is next in line, which is good. It is a mixture of Rap and EDM that could have been better thought out in retrospect. Still, it is fairly short, but too repetitive for a lot of people to enjoy. Good experimental tune though, but not quite there.
Firecracker by Strung Out comes up after, with some intricate bass playing, before guitars and drums enter the mix. This is actually a good American Punk tune, and is very fast. It sounds glorious and amazing, a great song to listen to from this compilation. A good effort of inspired music here, this is brilliant.
Next along is Subculture by Style Of Beyond, DJ Cheapshot, Ryu and Leon Rockmore. It begins with an eerie melody, before launching into a great Rap tune that sounds pretty cool. It is a good addition to this compilation, and sounds solid and refreshing. Some good beats and melodies fit perfectly with the Rap here, and is a good listening experience. Wonderful to hear, this is fresh and decent.
Following is Same In The End by Sublime. This is an interesting tune, and sounds very odd to begin with, before merging with Punk guitars and great melodies. This is a better side of the compilation, and sounds great. Something different for a Punk audience, yet still sounding as authentic as other good Punk tunes out there.
Cyco Vision by Suicidal Tendencies comes next, which is a sonic assault of Punk, Metal and Hardcore which is actually really good listening. The more pure Punk songs on this compilation are obviously better. This is no exception and sounds like a pure and energetic piece. Less than two minutes long, it is over before you know it.
New Girl by The Suicide Machines begins with some raw sounding instrumentation, before going into a rather quirky sounding piece that has a real Punk feel about it, except the odd interlude in the middle of the song. Excellent and awesome to hear, this is a notable song. Great effort here.
Following is Like This by Super Best Frens Club which kicks off with a quirky montage of electronic sounds, before launching into a vocal EDM track that sounds really good. Fresh, funky and good to hear, this is pretty cool to hear. Solid and excellent, very good for a two minute song.
Next is Five Lessons Learned by Swingin’ Utters which is a loud, raw and top Punk Rock track. It is typical USA punk sort of thing, so those of you who did this sort of thing will enjoy this song. A great listen, this is a good inspired listen. At less than two minutes, it is short and sharp. Nice song.
Flamingo by Token comes after, with some strange bass guitar sounds, before launching into a rather odd Rap tune which has some rapid fire lyrics which is unusual. It is surprisingly good here, and sounds very fresh and well done. This is a better example of Rap music out there, and sounds really good, although a little brutal lyrically. Good effort.
Can I Kick It? by A Tribe Called Quest comes along next. It begins with some good samples of different instrumentation, before launching into a very good Hip Hop tune that is quite slow and melodic. This is a decent listen, and although has a retro feel to it, sounds really classy. This is heavily based on Soul music, which is definitely different. A very nice listen. The beats towards the end are delicious.
Following is Lose Control by Tyrone Briggs which begins with distorted bass and beats. It sounds rather heavy, and is not as good as some of the other songs on this compilation, despite having some good beats. It is a bit much, to be honest. Still, it’s okay, but only okay. This could have been modified somewhat. Passable, but not fantastic.
After that is Euro-Barge by The Vandals which begins with some good drum beats, before another simple Punk rock track comes along. This sort of thing is far more enjoyable than the more experimental tracks on this compilation. Less than two minutes, there is a very angry feel to this song. Good regardless to hear. The guitar solo sounds insane.
Slow Learner by Viagra Boys comes along with heavy basslines and sounds pretty ordinary. This is one of the less well thought out additions to this compilation. It is weird both musically and lyrically, and could have been better thought out. It’s okay, but short of good. Some saxophone is in this, indicating the ill thought out sonic environment here.
All My Friends Are Nobodies by zebrahead is the very last song on this mix. It begins with some good Punk guitars, and has some pretty specific lyrics about the world outside of music. Good point, and a fairly good song to hear. Good to hear, and a call to arms. The guitars sound pretty loud here.
In summary, this is very hit and miss listening for a mix of songs for a video game. But then again, this is frequently so for video games. There are some great songs, some good songs and some downright awful songs. Still, it is a glimpse into the world of Tony Hawk and skating, so for some part, the flaws can be overlooked. But overall, this is disappointing and quality control is missing. Also, this is only available online, which is also disappointing.