Despite its name, the Punk-O-Rama collections have showcased music beyond the punk genre. While that was its original intention, once Epitaph started expanding its roster to other genres the series started to reflect this. Indie rock and hip-hop tracks started to appear, with examples on Volume 4: Tom Waits' "Big in Japan", and Volumes 8-10, including tracks by Sage Francis, Atmosphere, and Eyedea & Abilities. The only band to appear on every album in the series is Pennywise and Rancid, while three bands were on all but one album in the series, with Bad Religion on all but Volume 5, NOFX on all but Volume 9 and Pulley on all but Volume 1
The basis of the compilations was to promote the bands on the Epitaph labels, and as such, the suggested retail prices of the releases were usually half the price of other new releases, averaging well under $10. The songs featured on the compilations were both previously released on Epitaph labels and previously unreleased material. A few times, Epitaph also put on tours under the Punk-O-Rama name. Bands that have appeared on these tours included bands that appeared on the compilations, such as Guttermouth, Millencolin and The Distillers.
Hellcat Records, a subsidiary of Epitaph, started its own compilation series in 1997 called Give 'Em the Boot. Some bands would appear on this series as well as Punk-O-Rama, since they both include Hellcat Records bands.
A promotional version of the series — Punk-O-Rama 2.1 — was given away in 1997 with pairs of Vans shoes at select shoe stores. This album was similar to Volume 2, with some song exceptions. Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, Poison Idea, and TSOL were replaced with Hepcat - Bobby & Joe, H2O - Family Tree, and Ten Foot Pole - Regret. Pennywise, SNFU, and Down By Law have different songs featured as well.
A DVD was released under the Punk-O-Rama name in 2003. The DVD featured music videos that were made throughout Epitaph's history. Although the title indicated it was Volume 1, no other DVDs were released in the series. The next year, however, the Punk-O-Rama CD included a bonus DVD, which featured current music videos for Epitaph artists, most of which appeared on both the CD and DVD. The same was done for the following, and last, entry in the series.
Epitaph Records finally retired the Punk-O-Rama series of compilations in 2006, replacing it with the Unsound series, which had its first release in June, 2006.
Epitaph had come under criticism from long time fans of the Punk-O-Rama series, some of whom claimed that the name 'Punk-O-Rama' had become misleading, as the more recent releases in the series (particularly volumes 9 & 10) included emo, screamo, hardcore, indie rock and most controversially, hip hop. The new, non genre-specific name, Unsound was chosen to allow Epitaph to include a wider variety of music in the series.