Tim Yohannan

Special Duties 77 in 83 7"

The A-side isn’t quite up to their usual standards, but “Too Much Talking” wails with an amazing guitar, and makes it all worthwhile. Pick it up.

Two Fingered Approach World War Album EP

Oddball stuff, not unlike SWELL MAPS or the early TV PERSONALITIES. It’s not different, but it packs a bite, especially “Family Traditions.”

V/A These Cats Ain’t Nothin’ But Trash LP

Three modern bands that revive the roots of punk. The MILKSHAKES have that early KINKS or Merseybeat sound; the STINGRAYS belong to the METEORS/CRAMPS school of psychobilly; and the CANNIBALS hearken back to the ’60s punk of the early PRETTY THINGS or maybe the SEEDS or maybe the SHADOWS OF KNIGHT. These aren’t just copies—they reflect the genuine spirit of those eras. Great record.

Divine Right Die Today Cassette

Three songs here, all thrash. There’s no new ground broken, though it’s got some great drumming and excellent lyrics. Let’s see where this young band goes.

BGK Jonestown Aloha! LP

This Dutch band has evolved from the remnants of the NITWITZ into a more intense outfit capable of delivering many kinds of punk—classical, thrash, heavy metal punk, etc. All the tracks here have tremendous power, and some of them actually show an MDC influence. Very good indeed.

Dream Police Demise EP

Raw and aggressive, and two of the three tracks have real coherence and power. It’s pretty fast-paced, but not quite thrash. The A-side is slower and more rock-oriented; obviously, I prefer the flip. Look for this one.

Estágio Zero Esgoto Cassette

Brazil’s version of DISCHARGE meets Finnish hardcore. Actually, they do have a few slower “classical” punk songs that are really great, too. Good, intense stuff.

Electric Deads Anti-Sex EP

Much like their first EP, but recorded better. The music is raw and fast—like the DREAM POLICE—but the poppy, SIOUXIE-like vocals sort of put me off. Fortunately, the instrumentals by this Danish band carry the day.

OHL Verbrannte Erde LP

Put this band right up there in the European thrash-king sweepstakes. With this entry, Germany finds itself well represented. Awesomely powerful music that puts their earlier stuff to shame. Also, any doubts about O.H.L’s alleged “fascist” politics are again disclaimed here—one of the band members has the Jewish star of David on his leather jacket. Good news.

Stosstrupp Wie Lang Noch… LP

From the looks of the cover, I thought this album would be Oi. Nein. It’s powerhouse thrash, unlike their previous amateurish garage material. Wunderbar! Another amazingly strong release from Rock-O-Rama.

V/A Destroy Clones Cassette

This tape features ten bands from Italy, some of them punk, some fo them thrash, and most of them Oi. My favorites are FALLOUT and 5° BRACCIO, who totally cut loose. The WOPS and NABAT bash out some Oi, if that’s your cup of campana.

Twist & Scream Corporation Cassette

This young band was pissed when they were described last issue as FLIPPER-like. They do have some similarity in the distorted, raunchy bass lines and vocals echoes, but they are much more spirited and furious in tempo. Sort of like the CHURCH POLICE (just kidding, guys).

Unaware Tear Gas Raid Cassette

Now down to a three-piece, this outfit has tightened up considerably, producing a classic guitar-highlighted tape with good hooks, a thick sound, and plenty of tension. Not as funny but better produced, the Unaware sound good at slower paces and thrash speed.

10 Minute Warning Survival of the Fittest Cassette

Five songs from some of the former FARTZ. They still maintain the mania of the past line up, but combine it with a slightly more metal sound that sometimes reminds me of BLACK FLAG, sometimes of DISCHARGE. Excellent.

Y.I.A. Youth In Asia Cassette

According to the lyric sheet, Youth In Asia recorded this after one rehearsal. I can tell, but it’s still OK. The lyrics are excellent, especially in “Used” and “No More Middle Class.” Keep working at it!

V/A Get Off My Guts Cassette

Eight groups from the Berkeley area, all very young and in various states of existence or non-existence. The tape quality is very garagey, and the material includes some thrash and some pet rock or “mind rot.” The whole thing was recorded by Aaron and Jesse, those two youngsters who put out Tedium fanzine, and all other teeny zines that you literally need a microscope to read.

V/A Growing Pains Cassette

There’s quite a conglomeration of styles and sound quality on this South Bay compilation. It’s got thrash, heavy metal punk, garage punk, pop-punk, old punk, etc. The eight bands featured are FACTION, GRIM REALITY, RIBZY, EXECUTIONER, the BRUCES, WHIPPING BOY, the UNAWARE, and LOS OLVIDADOS.

V/A Hudson Rock LP

This Albany, NY compilation is like the ones that used to come out two or three years ago. It’s got a bunch of local bands playing diverse styles of music—’77 punk, punky pop, punkabilly, post-punk, etc. There’s a lot of so-so stuff, some quality stuff, and one thrash outfit (CAPITLE). A sampler in the truest sense of the term.

V/A Noise from Nowhere EP

Just when I thought SoCal was getting a bit stale, along comes this great 4-song EP with one cut each from KENT STATE, MODERN INDUSTRY, MOSLEM BIRTH, and MANSON YOUTH. All four present intense, unusual, and diverse styles of contemporary punk, tinged with deep cynicism. This isn’t LA schlock horror rock, but the real thing—the horrors of living today. Buy and die.

Instant Agony Fashion Parade EP

They picked up the pace a bit since their debut 7″. Although the riffs sound alike on all three of these songs, they’ve tightened up enough now that it’s not much of a hindrance. Good English punk ’ere, lads.

The Mekons This Sporting Life / Fight the Cuts 7"

The A-side is from ’81 and is post-punk similar to that of their former sister band GANG OF FOUR, minus the funk. The ’77-period flip is a trashy, amateur treat which makes this 45 worthwhile.

One Way System All Systems Go LP

This album contains at least one track from each of their three previous 7″s. ONE WAY SYSTEM focus on the more traditional punk styles, which they handle well, but they also play a few thrashers. A pretty good record, though not exceptional.

Rabid Bring Out Your Dead 12"

This 12″ sounds simultaneously over-produced and under-recorded, but the good music still makes it through. There are a couple of dragged-out mid-tempo numbers, but there’s a find dirge (“Holocaust”) and a few real kickers.

Soldier Dolls Ten Track Sampler Cassette

A Welsh band whose tastes run a whole gamut of punk styles, but seem to focus on the US hardcore approaches. The songs, which are much longer than the typical American ditty, are rather rough and have a charm all their own.

UK Subs Shake Up the City EP

Despite their antics and posturing on stage, the SUBS are a good band. But not a great band by any means. All three songs here are solid rockers and represent some of the best aspects of ’77 Britpunk. A tip of the hat to Charlie Harper for keeping the faith (energetic), but so much has since changed.

The Clitboys Time for Another War Cassette

Here is more proof that the Midwest is where things will be really happening in the near future. The CLITBOYS have the lyrical strength and commitment of the TOXIC REASONS, but are more thrashed-out. Watch for an EP soon.

The Bix Bigler Band Amtrack Cassette

Here, a former member of Reno’s party band, the THRUSTING SQUIRTERS, joins with members of 7 SECONDS and SECTION 8 to put out a rockin’ rolly four-song tape with scatological lyrics that would make Tesco Vee wince. The classic here is “There’s a Scientific Name for Your Dick.” Retarded to the max.

DRI Dirty Rotten EP

Mix together the early CIRCLE JERKS, early BLACK FLAG, MDC, MINOR THREAT, SSD, TERVEET KÄDET, and GANG GREEN, and you have something approximating these DIRTY ROTTEN IMBECILES (so-called by their parents). What can I say—this is manic, intense, tight thrash with great lyrics, and I can’t wait till these Houston boys unleash themselves upon the rest of us deprived people. 22 songs.

False Alarm I.W.L.P.I.F. Cassette

This group hails from down near Monterey, and the music is fairly standard NorCal stop-and-go thrash. Pretty energetic, but not really original. The words are similar in all fifteen songs, expressing a desperation and emptiness that must make the writer a real joy to be stuck in an elevator with.

Doomsday Massacre Wake Up or Melt Down EP

Another new Houston band slugging and thrashing its way up. This is a five-song release with the kind of intensity and drive that epitomizes Texas hardcore. A good one.

The F.U.’s Kill for Christ 12"

This is the second release on the X-Claim! label, and it’s no letdown. Some of the songs here are reminiscent of the super-fast sound associated with Boston; the others are slower, more distinct or melodic, but still rough, raw, and tight. Snap it up.

Flag of Democracy Chinese Food! Cassette

A seven-song effort from this new Philly group. They play very fast thrash with pizazz, similar in some ways to the NEOS. It sounds real good, but I can’t tell what the hell they’re singing about.

Hates Panacea 12"

This band has been around for a long time—that’s the good part of this review. This EP isn’t as bad as their last 7”—that’s the so-so part of this review. This records isn’t as good as their earlier releases—that’s the bad part. The pop-punk sound and almost falsetto vocals here are too close to new wave, but there are some good lyrics and a couple of cuts that rock out pretty hard (“Punk 1301” and “What Am I Living For?”).

Iron Cross Skinhead Glory EP

This slice of American Oi drags a lot but the drill press guitar sound is hot. The lyrics are about fighting and at face value seem confused if not downright reactionary. Vocalist Sab told me that aside from ex-bassist Wendel’s “Psycho Skin”—a retarded homophobic diatribe—most of the other songs are based on specific incidents and advocate self-defense not mindless violence. Unfortunately that isn’t at all clear from the enclosed lyric sheet. When dealing with sensitive subject matter, it would be helpful if bands included more information on what it is they’re trying to say. After all isn’t the object of music to communicate feelings and ideas?

The Abused Watch Out Cassette

Some heavy metal licks laid over really powerful thrash. The songs are short and well punctuated, with strong drumming. I can’t hear many of the words, but if “Nuclear Threat” and “D.F.Y. (Drug Free Youth)” are indicative, they’re fine. Highly recommended.

American Dream Ground Zero Cassette

This is sort of a poor man’s MINOR THREAT/MDC. Actually with a bit more fine-tuning and imagination, they could be right up there, because they have great lyrics and spirit, and aren’t musical slouches, either.

Bad Influence War’s No Fun Cassette

A totally hot, well-produced tape from this previously unknown bunch of kids from SF’s suburbs. It features very tight stop-and-go thrash, sort of like early CIRCLE JERKS.

Lepers Evil Music / So We Can Talk 7"

The thing I like most about both cuts are the vocals, which are eerie but not pretentious. The A-side is the song I like musically; it sort of reminds me of the more upbeat, listenable side of PERE UBU. Great bass runs.

No Trend Cancer Cassette

Oh no, the FLIPPER crud has spread to the heartland of straight-edge country. Actually, it’s more like FLIPPER meets early CABARET VOLTAIRE. The funniest song title is “Quincy Fights Punk Rock.”

N.O.T.A. Live at the Crystal Pistol Cassette

Much better than their earlier tape. The sound is fuller, there’s more attack, and the lyrics are every bit as good. NOTA remind me a bit of ARTICLES OF FAITH, so drop them a line and order this tape.

Mood of Defiance Now LP

Two people from thrash band ANTI combine with two others to produce a more experimental effort. It’s a 50/50 proposition. Some of it sounds like the earlier LA punk sound with its classic female vocals; other songs are in a post-punk or arty vein. Good change of pace.

Outpatients Basement Tape Cassette

Totally! Great bass-drums-guitar-vocals. This is one time that I’ll use the term “shreds,” because it says it all. As they say on the lyric sheet, “Play loud in math class.”

Poison Idea Pick Your King EP

I reviewed their demo tape two issues ago, and now I have a chance to rave again. This soon-to-be-released EP has thirteen thrashing songs that run into each other at breakneck speed. Keep your ears peeled.

Rejectors Struggle Cassette

If you had the good fortune to come upon their EP, you know what this new four-song “live” cassette is like. If not, it’s not too late to pick up on this bone-crunching attack. Note, as go the FARTZ (now 10 MINUTE WARNING), so go the REJECTORS. This means that there are some heavy metal guitar licks on this tape.

Psycho 8-Song EP 12"

Really cool. This band does a cover of the SONICS’ classic, along with other tunes ranging from straight-on thrash to thrash meets power-pop (in the good sense of the term). Great hooks, sharply delivered, and more gas than a bowl of Boston beans can produce.

Scream Still Screaming LP

This is bound to be one of the best releases of ’83. Dischord has really got their production down—it’s the best in punk. An unrelentless record, musically and lyrically, containing powerhouse thrash with great hooks, choruses, and vicious guitars. I don’t care much for the few reggae-ish cuts, but otherwise I can’t say enough good about this one.

Antisocial To Many People / Lets Have Some Fun! 7"

ANTISOCIAL sound more like an American outfit on their second single. One side is stop-and-go thrash, less DISCHARGE-like than most English thrash. The other side is slow, but also excellent.

Disorder Mental Disorder EP

Jello says that DISORDER has a live sound not unlike the pet-rock of FLIPPER. Maybe, but on record they continue to be a rip-roaring thrash band. The only trace of “pet” is in the screaming choruses and periodic yells. Cool.

Die Alliierten Ruhm und Ehre LP

An excellent release with varying punk styles and tempos, all the way up to thrash. It’s very tight and features good choruses, but the real strengths here are a great drummer and a guitarist who really cuts loose with some unusual licks and great, swooping chords.

Bastards Harhaa Cassette

This band must be the Finnish equivalent of DISCHARGE—metal meets thrash at 120 mph. There can be no winners of a nuclear war at that speed. Seriously, one side of this tape is studio and one side is live, but both are excellently recorded. Propaganda strikes again.

Lixomania Violência & Sobrevivência EP

LIXOMANIA sound a bit like some of the better new English bands, but with an edge and vocal rawness more reminiscent of Finnish groups. There’s one thrasher and a bunch of mid-tempo punk songs covering themes like punk not dying, massacres of innocent people, etc. The lyrics are in Portuguese, the language of Brazil.

Pandemonium De Pandemonium Affaire Cassette

’60s punk meets the GERMS meets thrash. It’s pretty fast stuff, but with an earlier punk feel to it, not unlike many current British bands. An excellent debut from this very young Dutch group.

Suspense Murder with the Axe EP

A four-song release by a young Dutch band. There’s a lot of different styles here, including a semi-post-punk track with a synth, a punk cut with a strong ’77 influence (“Heroin Child”), and a thrasher or two, “Crazy Sod” being the fastest. Pretty raw and catchy.

The Studs Warning! High Voltage EP

This sounds like earlier-style British punk and, although Dutch, has English lyrics. It’s funny how stuff that sounded so great three years ago now sounds so restrained, but “Electric Chair Execution” is fairly effective.

Die Toten Hosen Wir Sind Bereit / Jürgen Engler’s Party 7"

This falls into a pop-punk category. There’s poppy back-up vocals and hand claps, cut the basics are all solid older-style punk. I like it a lot.

Zmiv Banzai! Here’s “Zmiv” Beware! EP

Six songs from this sparsely recorded Dutch thrash band, combining some English sounds with U.S. and Finnish influences. The great insert has a weird picture of about 40 guys with mohawks sitting around in army clothes.

Varaus 1/2 LP

A 12″ with all the songs on one side. Once again, I’m forced to rave about Finnish thrash. This is one of the many bands from that country which inspire amazement. I hadn’t heard of these guys before, but they’ve obviously been practicing to achieve such power.

NV Le Anderen / Riot Here’s the Sounds of the Streets LP

This album features two new Dutch bands, one punk (RIOT), the other skin (N.V. LE ANDEREN), but I can’t figure that out from the lyrics or music. Both play similarly fast punk or thrash, and both have intelligent songs about similar subjects. An excellent release, but I’m still confused. The beautiful cover doesn’t help matters.

Conflict It’s Time to See Who’s Who LP

A very well produced record by a band heavily influenced by CRASS. The punk herein is sometimes slow, sometimes frantic, but always political. Most of the songs have that well-known militaristic sound, but a few are downright melodic. The multi-colored sleeve is unusual for a Crass-related label, and there are some real musical moments here. Don’t miss out.

The Afflicted Snuff Squad Cassette

Four very well produced tracks of slower, more powerful British-style punk, without the Oi posing. At first it didn’t do much for me, but after seeing them live I like the tape a lot more. Watch for wax.

Authorities Soundtrack for Trouble EP

Musically, this is sorta like early TSOL or BAD RELIGION, which is nothing to complain about. Lyrically, it has your basic punk themes, but there are a few lines that almost negate the sentiments because of the ignorance displayed. For example, on “Achtung,” a don’t-drop-the-bomb song, they say, “The Russians say they don’t want war, but that’s because they’re on top.” They then go on to say that you can’t believe anything the government says, so why do you believe the Russians have military superiority, which most experts deny. Also, in the anti-police song (“I Hate Cops”), the line “cops are all niggers” comes up. Huh? Then how come they’re always busting and hassling Blacks? Wise up, guys! A little knowledge is dangerous, but the record still sounds good.

The Bruces I Don’t Care Cassette

As unlikely as the name of the band is, their music turns out to be really cool modern day thrash, albeit quirky. Seven songs which are a bit under-recorded, but that is more than compensated for by the fun and energy put out.

Crib Death Spoil Your Party Cassette

A young band hailing from the Philly area. Their sound falls somewhere between some generic English punk bands and 7 SECONDS. As they’re pretty new, I’m sure they’ll be refining that shortly.

Double Cross Here to Stay Cassette

A 15-song demo from a wine country band whose influences are M.A.D. and CODE OF HONOR, among others. They’ve got a real right, thrash-oriented attack. It’s not too distinctive yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see them develop into something special as time goes on.

Descendents Milo Goes to College LP

This LA garage punk group bids farewell to vocalist Milo. Well-produced and snappy-fast, they are as tight and fun as they come, somewhat reminiscent of the DICKIES. The songs cover teenage problems like conformity, parents, drugs, and suburban life. One disturbing note—in “I’m Not a Loser,” they resort to the all-too-prevalent “you fucking homo” name-calling. Maybe these teenage insecurities will ease up after graduation.

Dead Kennedys Plastic Surgery Disasters LP

The DKs are the only group around whose new releases I approach with the same expectation, apprehension, and critical ear that I did for each new STONES record 16 years ago. You just know a lot of thought, work, and possible innovation will be invested in the grooves. Whether a self-appointed or media-chosen representative of “punk,” Biafra must be carrying a lot of weight on his shoulders. As for the record, side one is more like their live selves and more like their earlier recordings. No real let-down, though there are no immediate “classics,” either. Side two contains longer, more dramatic, and varied pieces that, while bravely breaking the norm, can be very trying. I’ll try more later. Meanwhile, the DKs keep subverting middle America. Keep it up.

End Result The Seven Year Locust Returns Cassette

Minimalist art-noise meet hardcore attitudes, with some Japanese musical influences. Huh? They sound a bit like early TUXEDOMOON, the SCREAMERS, or maybe a rawer UNITS with intense lyrics.

Executioner 1-9-8-4 Cassette

A strong, driving thrash sound with interesting twists and great lyrics. Another fine young band emerges from the South Bay, which was the home of punk rock in the ’60s. Tim Tonooka said they were excellent; he’s right.

Fang Landshark 12"

Eight-song release that captures their older sound (somewhere between FLIPPER and CRUCIFIX) and a faster-paced raging style. Very tight, with lots of distortion, lyrics of a vague, cryptic, humorous, and sometimes dubious nature.

Fatalitees Yeah, Right Cassette

Medium-fast punk, FLIPPER-ish drone, sharp lyrics (“Reaganomics”), funny lyrics (“Gotta Piss”), and really dumb lyrics (especially in the xenophobic “It’s Time for the Bomb Again”). They also throw in the kitchen sink, and have a ’zine called Corrugated What.

Fear Fuck Christmas / (Bleep) Christmas 7"

A 44-second ditty that sums up my feeling about the depressing “holiday” season. The B-side is for the radio.

5051 El Salvador EP

A very hard-to-come-by EP by this San Diego group. The music is medium-paced punk with occasional rapid-fire outbursts. The production is very powerful and English-like, and the words are really good, covering cliquishness, religion, paranoia, and intervention in Central America.

The Freeze Guilty Face EP

More “Boston-paced” music from this Cape Cod outfit, no letdown from their previous material. The playing is solid, tight, and inspired, with good hooks all around. As the liner notes say, “this record has been inspired by warmongers, social pressures, police oppression, and rednecks… their necks are getting redder.”

J.I.A. Corporate Interest Cassette

From the foothills of Northern California’s Sierras come JUSTICE IN AMERICA, blazing a trail with great thrasing lyrical assaults on the contradictions of life in the USA today. Very tight, very powerful, and the sentiments are right on the money.

Hüsker Dü Everything Falls Apart 12"

This is it! The HÜSKERS have finally come up with a great studio album, and if it doesn’t put them right up there with the top bands, then everyone’s lost their hearing listening to too much FLIPPER. The LP has got the power of their live performances, combined with a clean, crisp recording quality. Even if they can’t play Risk too well, they sure can play music.

Lost Generation Never Work EP

The A-side has a very long slower punk song that rags on working; the B-side has three thrashers, the best being a great anti-drug song called “Mind Control.” They also do a breakneck speed version of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” But guys, why “just another bitch?” Are you just another bunch of “punkers?”

Massarce Guys Devil’s Slide Cassette

The Mormons must be shitting! This young band combines thrash pacing with elements of jazz, pop sensibilities, and intelligent lyrics to produce a clean (too clean?), distinct sound that you’ll hopefully soon find on vinyl.

RF7 Fall In 12"

Musically, I like it better than their LP, but the words are, uh, confused, to say the least. They put it best in one of their own songs, where it’s admitted that they “haven’t the faintest idea what [they’re] trying to say.” And they prove it—”666 Head” contains some retarded racist shit; “Revolutionary Worker” attacks the RCP for all of the wrong reasons; “Vampire Lady (Coke Whore)” is just plain stupid. I could go on, but it might be contagious.

Police State Police State / Rich Punks Cassette

A new East Bay band, including ex-INTENSIFIED CHAOS person Brad, Jake, and Jake’s mom on guitar. This is real good bone-crushing hardcore with a British feel. I’m looking forward to seeing them live.

October Days Do the Right Thing 12"

This group from Connecticut decided to move to the sunny climes of SoCal, with its recording advantages. Their new release is a five-song effort that with a sound somewhere between early SHATTERED FAITH and the DREAM SYNDICATE. It has the edge of punk, the vocals of pop, and the structure of more melodic rock. A good effort.

Overkill Hell’s Getting Hotter EP

The long-awaited debut of this medium-fast metal punk band. The songs are positive, spirited, and catchy, with lots of power to ’em.

Rik L. Rik Dominique / Soul Power 7"

Remember NEGATIVE TREND as they appeared on the old Tooth and Nail compilation? Well, Rik L. Rik was a member of that seminal outfit, and now he’s back with a new single. The A-side is an overproduced, almost syrupy psychedelic number. The B-side is better though, sounding like a cross between the early SLEEPERS and late Iggy.

Suburban Mutilation Daddy Was a Nazi Cassette

These guys get “worse” all the time. They even make DEMENTED YOUTH and LENNONBURGER look good. If you don’t love the thrashed-out noise these jokers make, then you better go back to ’77. Armed with psychotic stuff like this, I’m ready for the future.

Toxic Reasons Independence LP

The TOXIC REASONS finally have their own LP after two 7” EPs and cuts on various compilations. Here, they re-do their first single, cover MAX FROST & THE TROOPERS’ “Shape of Things to Come,” and rip through the whole gamut of their live set—punky reggae, punk, and thrash. The liner notes are great and there’s a glossy magazine included. A must.

Tar Babies / Mecht Mensch Split Cassette

Two absolutely great bands from Madison who have had cuts on the Meathouse compilation. Both bands are recording with Bob of HÜSKER DÜ, and hopefully will have some vinyl out soon. If it’s half as good as this tape, we’re in for a treat.

Wasted Talent Self-Rule Cassette

I think this will be out on an album soon. It’s very sparse and bass-heavy thrash. I’m not sure I like the signing that much, but the words are all great, and, given time, I’m sure their sound will become more cohesive.

V/A Annoy Your Neighbor With This Tape Cassette

From Chainsaw fanzine, this collection ranges from hardcore to hard noise. On the noise side, we have SMERSH (a lot like the SCREAMERS), SENSELESS HATE, BLIGHT, and ATTRITION. There’s slower punk by ROACH MOTEL and the BAD SEEDS, and a few cuts that have already been out on record (CRACKED ACTOR, ANGRY SAMOANS), but the hit for me was Canada’s SUBURBAN MENACE, a totally great group.

U-Boats Government Ripoff / Breakout Tonite 7"

This sounds like UK-’78, not FLA-’82—you know, that slow-paced Oi sound. The best part is the totally fuzzed-out guitar.

V/A Rat Music for Rat People LP

Live recordings, ostensibly taken from various shows produced by Paul Rat around the Bay Area over the last six years. This contains cuts by the DKs, FLIPPER, DOA, CIRCLE JERKS, BLACK FLAG, TSOL, BAD BRAINS, CRUCIFIX, and the late, great DILS and AVENGERS (though the latter two’s cuts are from past their prime). Most tracks are good quality, so this album should do well.

V/A Amuck LP

A compilation of Arizona bands. One side is arty/experimental, which I’m not competent to comment on. The other side is a mix of thrash, punk, new wave, and experimental. Probably an up-to-date anthology of Phoenix today. Faves are JODY FOSTER’S ARMY, SOYLENT GREENE, and the MEAT PUPPETS.

V/A Mindrocker Vol. 1 LP / Vol. 2 LP / Vol. 3 LP

Three new releases of ’60s punk reissues, à la Pebbles. Volume 1 focuses on California bands like the BROGUES and the OTHER HALF; Volume 2 has mostly Chicago-area bands, including the DEL-VETTS and the great SHADY DAZE; Volume 3 is a potpourri and includes the MYDDLE CLASS and the classic BALLOON FARM cut, “A Question of Temperature.” These are the lesser-knowns, the equivalents of 90% of today’s punk bands, who managed to put out that one great single before fading into obscurity in one flash of purple Owsley. The sound quality on these records is stupendous, somehow enhanced to today’s standards. Now you can compare these old gems to today’s neo-psychedelic bands, and guess who pales in the comparison? Rave on!

V/A Kitten Cassette

A potpourri of Minneapolis-St. Paul bands, all on the punk side to varying degrees. My faves are GROUND ZERO and WILLFUL NEGLECT. Thank HÜSKER DÜ, who also appear here, for this project. Unfortunately, the tape is already out-of-print.

V/A Sudden Death LP

Yet another LA compilation, and like most of the others, this is well worth the cash. The sound quality is mostly good, and it features well-knowns like REDD KROSS and JODY FOSTER’S ARMY, barely-knowns like the SINS, YOUTH GONE MAD, and SIN 34, and unknowns like MORAL DECAY, CRANKSHAFT, SADIST FACTION, the DEMENTED, the NAUGHTY WOMEN, and DEAD YOUTH. My faves are JFA, SIN 34, and REDD KROSS.

V/A No Core Cassette

Four groups—COLCOR, NO LABELS, NO ROCK STARS, and CORROSION OF CONFORMITY—share this effort to show the world that hardcore lives in the American South. Well, if this is representative, it not only lives, it thrives! The cassette’s cover sums it up: it shows a Rebel flag being burned.

V/A Rodney on the ROQ Vol. 3 LP

Like the earlier volumes, one side is punk and one side is pop. Lots of the bands are new to vinyl, including KENT STATE, ILL REPUTE, CATCH 22, and RED SCARE. The vets are CH3, JFA, NO CRISIS, PARIAH, and RUDI from Ireland. Most of side one is anthemic, melodic punk. I won’t deal with the flip except to say that the BANGLES track is much rawer than their EP.

V/A There Is More Cassette

A follow-up to Is That All There Is?, and from start to finish, it’s a blitz. Made up mostly of Ohio bands like ZERO DEFEX, the AGITATED, STARVATION ARMY, the URBAN MUTANTS, the OFFBEATS, the DARK, and the IDIOT SAVANTS, it’s a total joy. For only $2, you’re really a jerk if you don’t send away for it.

Anti-Nowhere League For You / Ballad of JJ Decay 7"

God, a real disorienting week. First, an intelligent record from the EXPLOITED, and now this—a strong pop-punk single with halfway decent lyrics from the biggest geeks around. Both sides benefit from good English production, have good hooks, and stick with you. I give up.

Blitz Voice of a Generation LP

A 50-50 proposition. The strongest tracks are the ones with the cool back-up soccer chants—really powerful punk. And then there are the others, either too sparse, over-produced, or just plain lame (like their cover of LOU REED’s “Vicious”).

Born BC The Power and the Privelige EP

On one hand, it’s slow, repetitive UK punk. On the other, it’s so raw and weird that the instruments seem to turn into vacuum cleaners and electric saws, while the vocals become eerie PiL-type drones. Definitely odd. It might even grow on me.

Destructors Jailbait EP

A fairly unremarkable follow-up to their pretty decent first LP. It would help a lot t have a lyric sheet, especially since a couple of songs (“Sewage Worker” and “Jailbait”) are not even clear enough to tell whether they’re serious or not. If they are serious—note the sexy/sexist cover—it would contradict their otherwise progressive views.

The Exploited Computers Don’t Blunder / Addiction 7"

A lot’s been said about this band being a bunch of moronic yahoos, much of it probably justified, but on this record there’s evidence to the contrary. “Computers Don’t Blunder” is a great anti-militarist song about the possibility of technology-induced holocaust. The B-side is as strong an anti-drug song as you’ll find. The music is fast and powerful.

The Fits The Last Laugh EP

The title song shows lots of promise on this, their third 7″. Pretty s-punky stuff, but the B-side cuts are pretty unexciting.

GBH Give Me Fire / Man-Trap 7"

The A-side is a standout powerhouse punk song, instrumentally. I can’t say much about the lyrics (as with many of their songs) because I have no idea what they’re singing about, even after reading them printed.

The Insane Why Die! / War and Violence 7"

A great, great record. Both sides start with long slow punk intros, then launch into powerful thrash. This is especially true of the A-side, which breaks on through into the manic. I love it.

Newtown Neurotics Licensing Hours / No Sanctuary 7"

Back for the fifth time with their distinctive sound—medium paced, ’60s fuzz guitars (almost folk-rock), plaintive vocals, real melodies, and personally outraged lyrics. This band is sorta like a punked-out cross between the old MODERN LOVERS and CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL.

One Way System Jerusalem / Jackie Was a Junkie 7"

The best release yet by this Oi group. Both sides are faster than their norm, and the record is well-produced with a really full sound. This is British punk at close to its best.

Reality Blind to the Truth EP

I can’t believe this is a new band, and not some undiscovered reject from 1977 that someone decided to put out now. Actually, the lyrics are politically strong (anti-NATO, etc.), but the music makes the first MEKONS single look real professional.

The Skeptix Routine Machine / Curfew 7"

Totally great, both sides. Truly energetic, exciting thrash with cool guitar punctuation. It’s nice to see this kind of attack spreading in England.

Serious Drinking Love on the Terraces EP

The A-side sounds too much like IAN DREARY to me, but the three cuts on the flip are great funnypunk, combining Oi with some innovative vocal and guitar interruptions.

Chaos Z Ohne Gnade LP

“Ultra Hardcore” is what it says on the cover, and that’s what it mostly is—straight ahead thrash, much like DISCHARGE, with little variation. The songs have anti-authoritarian, anti-war, and apocalyptic themes, except for “Stuttgart über Alles,” modeled after the DK’s classic.

Der Durstige Mann Prost! EP

Eric Hysteric from the VOMIT VISIONS in a new but equally abrasive and frantic group. For further info, read the VOMIT VISIONS review below, but this time the lyrics are in German.

Kohu-63 Lisää Verta Historiaan LP

This band’s second 12″ offering sounds like a cross between LA thrash circa ’81 and DISCHARGE. From the glossy 12-page booklet enclosed, one can surmise that the songs are your basic anti-war, anti-police themes.

Nostrils Live with the London Symphony Orchestra Cassette

A mixed back of songs recorded in ’81 by this now defunct Canadian outfit. A lot of older-style punk, some with good hooks, but rendered largely obsolete by recent stylistic changes. However, one song, “Malcontents,” is as powerful and driving as anything going, and makes me sad that they decided to call it quits.

The Neos Hassibah Get the Martian Brain Squeeze EP

An amazing, original, manic, tight, intelligent (and I could go on and on) release. And I thought their first EP was great. This one puts that one to shame. There may not be too many of these, as they’re financing it themselves, so buy as soon as you see it. Oh yeah, it’s got fourteen songs.

Vomit Visions Shove It Up Your Ass EP

Three songs that are as raw and basic as possible. They make G.G. ALLIN seem M.O.R., combining a totally non-commercial sound with equally acidic social satire. They’re German but they sing in English.

Sudden Death Blood on the Floor Cassette

An 8-song effort, sort of metal punk. It reminds me a bit of PERSONALITY CRISIS and BLACK FLAG. They’re gonna put out other bands too, like the MANIC DEPRESSORS and LAST GASP. Good job, lads.

V/A Die Deutschen Kommen LP

Five groups are featured here. FASAGA and COTZBROCKEN have a ’77 sound; Fluch have a CRAMPS feel; OHL are semi-thrash; and STOSSTUPP must stand 1″ tall and record in a matchbox. OHL rule this roost from a musical standpoint.

Youth Youth Youth Why Pay More Cassette

A really great thrash outfit from the Toronto area. The instrumentation is more than competent, but the lyrics are what really stand out—intelligent, committed, positive, and deliberate. Excellent!

V/A Schiavi Nella Città Più Libera Del Mondo EP

Four hardcore bands from Bologna share this raw record. R.A.F. PUNK sounds like a cross between CRASS and DISCHARGE; STALAG 17 are a bit more primitive, with tremendously course vocals; ANNA FALK SS sound more like a typical Britpunk aggregation; BACTERIA make FLIPPER sound wonderfully melodic. A great EP.

Minutemen What Makes a Man Start Fires? 12"

Do I really have to describe them after they’ve put out so much vinyl? No radical departures here, as their whole style is a continuing radical departure. You’ll know if you like them by now—I sure do.

Negative Approach Can’t Tell No One EP

Another Touch & Go Midwest classic along the lines of the FIX and the NECROS. All then songs are manic, even when they aren’t totally fast, but, uh… the lyrics will make you understand their name, because they’re sick sick sick of all this pressure pressure pressure or something something something.

Willful Neglect Willful Neglect LP

Too bad—the music is really tight and furious, and some of the songs are well taken, but this young band is plagued by the same lyrical problems that many other hardcore groups have in the area of regressive sexual attitudes. Punks have gotta get beyond stupid sexual stereotyping and homophobia. Those are the predominate values of the society we supposedly despise, so why carry them into our own? Fortunately, there are some positive ideas expressed here, especially in “Abort the Mission.”

V/A Propaganda LP

OK, you’ve been reading in these pages how great Finnish punk is, so order this compilation of almost all of the best bands (save RATTUS, LAMA, KOHU-63, and a few others). That’s all the proof you’ll need. One band after another comes charging at you and demonstrates why this relatively small and out-of-the-way country is the tops in European thrash. Includes cuts by the BASTARDS, ANTI KEHO, KAAOS, NATO, TERVEET KÄDET, RIISTETYT, 013, MAHO NEITSYT, APPENDIX, SEKUNDA, and DACHAU. A must.

V/A Underground Hits 1 LP

One side is all American bands, including BLACK FLAG (their first EP), BAD BRAINS and SACCHARINE TRUST (previously released material), and the ANGRY SAMOANS (one oldie and two unreleased cuts, including the infamous “Poshboy’s Cock”). The German side contains four strong hardcore bands, including TOXOPLASMA, RAZZIA, CHAOS Z, and the NEUROTIC ARSEHOLES. This is a great idea for linking international punk scenes. Bravo!

Angry Youth All-American Hero Cassette

You know something is happening when it penetrates the South. This har’ is a Tennessee band that really rips, sounding a lot like 7 SECONDS to my ear. Rednecks retreat!

E.S.S. Espionage Sabotage Subversion Cassette

ESPIONAGE SABOTAGE SUBVERSION presents mostly stop-and-go thrash tracks here, but there is also one long arty song with tense dynamics. Continued proof that hardcore can grow in any climate, even the sandy soil of Arizona.

The Gerbils GM Working Man Cassette

Detroit drives in with an intense thrash band that incorporates a synthesizer sound à la SCREAMERS and vocals not unlike that great LA group. These guys have a better idea.

Fathead Suburbia Control the Masses Cassette

Heavy metal intros that blast wide open into rather unusual thrash, though we’re at the point were there can’t be anything too innovative in the hardcore scene, aren’t we? Anyway, it’s the emotion and enthusiasm that count, and this has it.

The Gun Club Miami LP

This new release lacks the dirty, manic feel of their classic debut album. Maybe it’s the production, loss of bass player, or more country twang, but the magic only happens on a few cuts. Second Album Syndrome strikes again.

Misguided Bringing It Down EP

Real intense debut. The A-side shows the standard thrash sound mixed in with some weird rock guitar, but my favorite cut—“CCTV”—features some great fuzzed-out guitar that has a wonderful prolonged feedback ending. Good noise!

Ribzy Invasion Cassette

Five songs by this San Jose group, consisting of two women and two men. Great snarly vocals in the snotty tradition of ’60s punk and Darby Crash. The arrangements are snappy and the sound is distinctive, maybe as a result of their five-string guitars. Look for a record soon.

Really Red New Strings for Old Puppets EP

Five new songs in REALLY RED’s very distinctive style. After four 7″ records and one LP, if you don’t know what they sound like, you’re really blowing it. Great driving, rocking, hypnotic songs with political lyrics as sharp as they come.

Rebels and Infidels Gov’t Primer EP

This is the Northern Cal SCREAM, not the better-known DC band. It’s a four-song release with two god-awful songs that show their not-too-distant heavy metal past, one decent thrasher, and a totally great and refreshing stop-and-go classic called “Gov’t Primer.”

Sacred Order Crankin on a Straight Edge Cassette

Pretty standard thrash, although sometimes it breaks the norm. What really stands out here are the lyrics. They’re standing out right now… from my garbage can! It’s where they belong, sexist, homophobic macho goon-squad bullshit better left to the rockers and metal crowd.

The Tragics Mommi, I’m a Misfit EP

This band from upstate New York used to be called the MISFITS but changed their name for obvious reasons. Their vocalist sounds all the world like Pauline Murray from her PENETRATION days. The band combines punk, thrash, and rock and roll.

The Vandals Peace Thru Vandalism 12"

This record has that distinct modern LA sound, at times reminiscent of TSOL, GUN CLUB, and the CIRCLE JERKS. All in all, an enjoyable, upbeat debut.

Urbn DK Mass Grave EP

A totally great debut. It’s not thrash tempo (unless played at 45, which sounds good, too), but it has very powerful, driving songs with doom-filled scenarios of the deterioration of human values. unfortunately, it’s all too true—this is the real “horror rock.” Too bad there’s no lyrics sheet.

V/A Is That All There Is? Cassette

Akron and Cleveland hardcore including ZERO DEFEX, URBAN MUTANTS, and the OFFBEATS. This stuff exemplifies why the Midwest is fast becoming the center for intense music.

V/A The Master Tape LP

Great compilation of upper midwestern bands (except Boston’s F.U.’s). Some have previous releases—TOXIC REASONS, ZERO BOYS—but most are vinyl virgins (SLAMMIES, BATTERED YOUTH, DELINQUENTS, ARTICLES OF FAITH, REPELLANTS, LEARNED HELPLESSNESS, PATTERN, and DIE KREUZEN). More volumes are planned for the future. These regional collections of little-known bands are extremely important, so give the ZERO BOYS credit for organizing this project.

V/A Meathouse 1 Cassette

The follow-up to Charred Remains. This compilation features 26 bands, including JFA, the CRUCIFUCKS, RED SCARE, MOURING NOISE, BATTALION OF SAINTS, MECHT MENSCH, RIGHTS OF THE ACCUSED, SIN 34, NEGATIVE ELEMENT, the MOB, REBEL TRUTH, and on and on… You can’t go wrong here.

V/A This Tape Sucks Cassette

A hot little tape put out by Oops! fanzine, featuring some great garage thrash by Clevo and Akron bands like the BEATOFFS, the OFFBEATS, LOUD AS FUCK, the DUMBSHITS, the DEFNIKS, the DISSIDENTS, and ZERO DEFEX. Only midwestern bands could come up with song titles like “Turds with Corn in ’Em.” Great.

V/A What Is It LP

Mostly re-issues, but with a few unreleased cuts from the What label vaults, one of the earliest LA labels. This contains gems by the GERMS, DILS, SKULLS, CONTROLLERS, EYES, and later stuff by KAOS. A must for those who missed these older California punk 45s, now impossible to find.

Abrasive Wheels Burn ‘Em Down / Urban Rebel 7"

Pretty uneventful outing. The A-side sounds like a ’78 US punk band imitating a ’77 UK band; the B-side is more modern-paced, but unimaginative.

Attak Murder in the Subway / Future Dreams 7"

Pretty good—I’d give it a B-, as the drums drag a bit. Sounds a lot like GBH, with themes to match.

Disorder Perdition 12"

Eight tracks from the best of the UK post-DISCHARGE thrashers, though this new stuff isn’t as amphetamine as their earlier releases. That should give you a good idea of their sound. If it doesn’t, stick your finger in a socket for similar results.

Discharge State Violence State Control / Doomsday 7"

Surprise, surprise! This record sounds just like DISCHARGE. Actually, only “Doomsday” does; the flip is much slower, but structurally the same. You either like DISCHARGE and can’t get enough of them, or you say “never again.” They sound a lot better on record than they do live.

The Meteors Mutant Rock / The Hills Have Eyes 7"

Psychobilly, that unique blend of rockabilly style, punk energy, and modern sound has produced a few outstanding records—some CRAMPS, GUN CLUB, PANTHER BURNS, and METEORS cuts. This latest single is a continuation of their great LP. Boss.

V/A Punk and Disorderly: Further Charges LP

An American release of this, the second in the series of England’s best and most current independent singles. Contains cuts by VICE SQUAD, DISORDER, GBH, the EXPELLED, RIOT/CLONE, the ABRASIVE WHEELS, and many, many more. If you can’t afford to buy all the import 45s, this is the way to go.

Cadgers / Kaaos Kaaosta Tää Maa Kaipaa / Kytät On Natsisikoja EP

One Finnish thrash band on each side of this 7″. Both seem highly influenced by DISCHARGE. The KAAOS side is a bit zippier.

Lama Nimetön EP

Powerhouse drumming seems to be the hallmark of this band. The songs on this EP tend to be in the older punk style of ’78, but it’s delivered with great intensity and commitment.

V/A Systeemi Ei Toimi EP

LAAHAUS and KAAOS have four songs each that shred to the max. (I’m getting desperate for adjectives here.) Really rad. VAPAA PÄÄSY, on the other hand, pale in comparison due to their wimpier sound.

DOA War on 45 12"

The band now includes Joey and Dave from the other line-up, plus Dimwit and Wimpy Roy from the “other” famous Vancouver band, the SUBHUMANS. This record isn’t as frnatic as Hardcore ’81, but it’s more typical of DOA’s live rock ’n’ roll, somewhat reminiscent of the old MC5. They also do some reggae, and covers of “war” songs by EDWIN STARR and the DILS.

Mekanïk Destruktïw Kommandöh Rohe Gewalt / Rhytmus der Musik 7"

A live recording from this German group. It utilizes a sax, but it’s not “arty.” The A-side has a hard-driving, sparse, “Peter Gunn”-like sound; the B-side is punkier and even stronger. They’re coming to the US in January.

Napalm It’s a Warning EP

Cockney kids from Hamburg? Jawohl, mates! German teens from that city were highly influenced by the Brits in the ’60s—the BEATLES played the Star Club and the RATTLES emerged. In the ’80s, it’s NAPALM’s turn, right down to the accents and soccer chants.

Razors Banned Punx 12"

This West German band plays tight, hard, powerful punk and hardcore. Great record, along with all their previous releases.

Not Moving Strange Dolls EP

Four songs, each with a different style. One is in the UK post-punk style, one is a surf standard, one is CRAMPS-ish, and the final one tears it up. Good female vocals, but unfortunate intrusion of the synth.

The Mob Upset the System EP

Nine-song debut from NYC. Furious-paced hardcore laced with heavy metal guitar solos and extremely short songs, much like the first CIRCLE JERKS LP. And like the latter it has confused lyrics which condemn much and beg for unity—but around what and for what? All in all, enjoyable.

Riot .303 Crowd Control EP

Hey, it’s punk rock that sounds very much like the Canuck SUBHUMANS, even down to the Wimpy Roy-style singing. Most the punk bands in the US either wimped out or went thrash, leaving the last bastion of the older sound in England and the wilds of Canada, whence this group emerged. Fellas, it’s ’83, but your record is darn nice in a nostalgic sort of way.

Upright Citizens Bombs of Peace 12"

Nine songs from this German group, mostly sung in English and sounding very English, too (ca. ’79-’80). They even do a cover of CRISIS’ “Holocaust.” The lyrics are great and the material is fine and dandy. An excellent debut.

Rikk Agnew All By Myself LP

This LP by an ex-ADOLESCENT has all the pitfalls of the decaying rock scene of the early ’70s—overproduction, solo instrumentation, sappy love songs, and self-indulgence to the max. I hope this doesn’t bode ill for the future direction of the LA punk scene. The lyrics are either romantic, tragic, or suicidal—Leonard Cohen, move over. The weakest release on the normally strong Frontier label.

Agent Orange Breakdown 12"

Mostly stuff you could find on other 45s or compilations, but nice to have with the 12″ sound quality. Title track is the only cut with vocals and is more contemporary; other three cuts—“Mr. Moto,” “Pipeline,” and “Miserlou” are Surf City Specials.

Channel 3 Fear of Life LP

A dozen songs—highly produced punk with pop overtones. Not as frantic as their first EP (two songs are repeats). Southern California suburban angst.

Conflict America’s Right Cassette

7-song tape for a mere $2.50 from this Arizona HC outfit. Female vocals fronting some really ripping music that doesn’t let up at all. Great value.

Dead Kennedys Bleed for Me / Life Sentence 12"

A-side is very reminiscent of the earlier DK’s sound—words you can hear, slower but extremely powerful and clear instrumentation. B-side is more thrashed out, and again very strong production. The excitement generated by them at live shows comes across on both cuts. Great graphics too. Should be out domestically on Faulty.

The Faith / Void Split LP

Two distinct bands share this wax. VOID has all the intensity one expects from a Dischord DC band. Some ferocious attacks and at other times sounds like SOA meets LED ZEPPELIN. FAITH is more standard-type thrash, meat and potatoes ’80s punk. Buy or die!

The Mentally Ill American Dream / Soldier 19 7"

Nowhere as garagey and psychotic as their first EP nor as arty as their cassette in a can. Highly produced with background soundtrack, raw guitar, catchy rhythms.

Mofungo El Salvador EP

The two songs on the B-side didn’t do much for me, but the A-side by this NY group is pretty neat. Slowish post-punk, off-beat production, anthemic vocals, a Chris Stamey production.

Sin 34 Die Laughing EP

Really good new LA band. Stop and go thrash style. Great to see a female singer—they used to be real common before macho goons took over. Anyway, a refreshing five-song debut with strong, intelligent lyrics.

Soldiers of Fortune No Wimps or Posers (It’s the American Way) 12"

Variety pack of styles—one thrasher, two DK’s-type songs, one power-chord rockabilly, one new wave-ish. Mostly political themes.

Toxin III I Rock I Ran EP

Brave lads these, hailing from the heart of klan country—Crowley, Louisiana. Real garagy punk, great lyrics, different sound. Front cover has a rebel flag twisted into a swastika, which says it all.

Youth Brigade Sound and Fury LP

Great, great BYO follow-up release to their sampler LP—thrash with hooks and melodies, plus lyrics urging action, unity and spirit. Influenced by Oi, Dischord bands, SOCIAL DISTORTION, 7 SECONDS, but ultimately this is LA not DC.

V/A Unsafe at Any Speed EP

Follow-up to This is Boston, Not LA LP. More great raves from JERRY’S KIDS, GANG GREEN, and F.U.’s, and some slower material by GROINOIDS, PROLETARIAT (great put-down of Reagan called “Voodoo Economics”) and the FREEZE’s classic “Refrigerator Heaven” that schizophrenically jumps from slow ’70s rock to thrash.

Amebix Who’s the Enemy EP

Four songs—one hardcore shorty and three more post-punky sounds, none of which are lightweight at all. Very raw, choppy guitars, raspy vocals; slightly dissonant. Along with CHAOTIC DISCHORD, one of the few new UK bands to break the mold.

Mau Maus Society’s Rejects EP

Eight songs that combine Oi choruses and DISCHARGE-like lead vocals and guitars with a really fast-paced tempo. Songs are short and sweet. Good first effort. Not to be confused with LA’s infamous MAU MAUS.

Riot Squad Fuck the Tories EP

No to be confused with the South African punk band of the same name, but will be confused with just about every other recent UK punk band. Know what I mean?

V/A Britannia Waives the Rules 12"

One cut each by EXPLOITED, CHRON GEN, and INFA-RIOT. All I can say is, “Bring back SHAM 69!” Secret must have the worst taste in punk.

V/A Als Je Haar Maar Goed Zit LP

This compilation from the Netherlands features seven bands, the hottest being the OUTLAWS, NITWITZ, and AMSTERDAMNED. Runs the gamut from ’77 punk to full-tilt thrash.

V/A Lansimaisen Sivilisaation Cassette

Another one for collectors. Sound quality varies a lot, but contains some unobtainable punk from Poland, Germany, Italy, Finland, etc. Including incredible hardcore from Brazil’s OLHO SECO.

V/A Punk Ei Ole Kuollut Cassette

Twelve groups from Scandinavia presenting punk and thrash, including the great TERVEET KÄDET and KAAOS. Finland rules, OK?

V/A Punk Is…. Cassette

26 hardcore punk and abrasive post-punk cuts from Sweden, Finland, Italy, Brazil, Norway, England, and the US. Sound quality varies. A must for those who want to keep up with the worldwide spread of the punk plague.

Discharge Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing LP

Doom with a very fast beat. Don’t say that these guys didn’t warn us if someone drops the big one, because this is the second LP (they also have four 7″ers) that hammers away without mercy at the potential hell of nuclear holocaust. The songs here tend to be a bit similar (repetitive riffs and some heavy metal guitar), but the delivery is so powerful, the words so convincingly committed, that it’s a winner. Much like watching a huge fire—horrifying, but riveting at the same time.

The Exploited Troops of Tomorrow LP

Lots of really fast HC stuff here, but you can’t tell what they’re singing about—no lyrics sheet. But maybe it’s better this way. I’m afraid to know what these “geniuses” are saying. Cover says it all.

The Partisans 17 Years of Hell EP

It’s got those UK punk choruses OK. Straight-ahead delivery, but not as supercharged as their first release.

Instant Agony Think of England EP

Your basic English punk here—steady beat, drone guitar, political protest lyrics. B-side “Working Class” is catchy. Good-looking sleeve, but best part is the name of the label.

Rudimentary Peni Farce EP

A better-recorded 11-song follow-up to their first release, but loses speed and rawness in the process. A bit more post-punk influence here, and a bit more repetitive, but still strong.

V/A Riotous Assembly LP


Wipers Romeo / No Solution 7"

This band successfully combines punk and hardrock, much like early GENERATION X and SUICIDE. Some tasty guitarwork and nice fuzz, one of the few bands to make longer songs tolerable. B-side is weak.

V/A Not So Quiet on the Western Front 2xLP

We’re in no position to be objective about this one, since we compiled it. All we’ll say is that it features 47 Northern California and Nevada bands (a few known elsewhere, most not), and ranges from hardcore to garage. All cuts previously unreleased. Comes with 48-page zine on the bands.

V/A Someone Got Their Head Kicked In LP

An anti-violence compilation from the kids at Better Youth Organization—the folks that put on shows at Godzillas. Features tracks from LA, Santa Barbara and San Diego bands SOCIAL DISTORTION, JONSES, Youth Brigade, AGRESSION, ADOLESCENTS, BLADES, BATTALION OF SAINTS, and BAD RELIGION. Strong album, but not as thrashed-out as one might expect—tending more toward the melodic, but still hard. Great production. Pick it up.

Black Flag TV Party EP

A side of BLACK FLAG’s most commercial song, and features current drummer Emil. B-side’s “I’ve Got to Run” and “My Rules,” sound more like the LP, with fill-in drummer Bill. Production is even cleaner though. Bring back Robo!

B-Team First Product EP

Yes, they do have a lot of GANG OF FOUR influence, which often becomes boring. Such is the case with the two B-sides. But the A-side is blessed with a much more raw and aggressive sound—the redeeming side of “post-punk.”

Code of Honor / Sick Pleasure Fight or Die / Dolls Under Control LP

Glad SICK PLEASURE bit the dust, this being a posthumous release—too heavy metal for my taste, with lyrics of equal mentality. CODE OF HONOR side is much better—still traces of metal (Mike Fox being guitarist in both bands) but the thrash cuts are tight, with interesting variations. Jonithin Christ’s (ex-SOCIETY DOG) lyrics and vocals make all the difference here—he’s graduated from nihilism to advocacy of peace, unity, and political action.

Fuck-Ups FU82 EP

Mediocre ’77-style punk, including one song (“White Boy”) about a dumb white guy trying to be as ignorant as some dumb low-rider types. Unfortunately, it’s not a satire, as singer Bob Noxious constantly finds new ways to act out his insecurities and aggression in public. Ignore.

Lewd American Wino LP

First release from them in two years. Side 1 presents the better aspects of the current line-up: more thrash out songs with good social commentary lyrics. A pleasant surprise. Side 2, on the other hand, is a live recording, and is more typically heavy-handed and nihilistic. At least most of the good songs are all on one side.

Bad Religion Into the Unknown LP

This is the obligatory slag review. Basically, this new BAD RELIGION album totally sucks, unless you like slickly produced early ’70s wimp rock. After playing it, I hurled it out the window, into the unknown.

Better Living Lost Children cassette

BETTER LIVING’s vocals verge on the psychotic, and they’re enhanced by frantic, spastic instrumental outbreaks. I’ve got to say that this stuff is absolutely berserk and wonderful!

Blunder Boys I Hate Girls cassette

Another Philly area band that provides evidence that a lot is going on in the City of Brotherly Hate. They offer somewhat unoriginal thrash, but perform it well for a young band. The music here isn’t nearly as goofy as their picture in MRR #8.

Butthole Surfers Butthole Surfers 12″

There’s some genuine sickness here, kids. Some of it’s slow, some fast, some jazzy, some thrashy, but all of it combines BEEFHEART-type weirdness (with slide guitar, even) and twisted punk humor to produce classics like “The Shah Sleeps in Lee Harvey’s Grave.”

Chemotherapy I Don’t Want to Be Watched EP

Totally crude and psychotic garage stuff here. They’ve got amazingly primitive drumming, raw guitars, and lots of super-short outbursts of madness called songs. A delight for NEOS and early HALF JAPANESE fanatics.

Circle One Patterns of Force LP

A very interesting record. Musically, it’s mostly well-done thrash, with some slower, lighter touches thrown in. It sounds good. Lyrically, it’s an odd combination. There are progressive anti-capitalist (unite against the rich man and his power, manipulation) and anti-racist (don’t let them divide us by color) sentiments. But then there are some glaring contradictions too, such as religious fervor—the blaming of man’s evil (including homosexuality) on Satan, the apocalypse as predicted in the Bible, our need to accept “Him.” Anyone for the People’s Temple?

Dead Hippie Living Dead LP

DEAD HIPPIE present highly produced punk in a variety of styles familiar to Angelenos. Some of their material approximates thrash, some is metallish, and some falls into the horrific death cult genre. I suspect that these people have been around for a while, because there’s more here than can be found on a typical vinyl debut from a previously unknown band.

Detonators Emergency Broadcast Systems LP

Hardcore that reminds me a bit of early SOCIAL DISTORTION, CH3, or YOUTH BRIGADE, while still retaining its distinctiveness. The DETONATORS use harmonies and what appears to be an acoustic-sounding guitar in their medium-to-fast-tempo songs, yet they have a lot of power and a certain edge. This album contains the classic “Do You Understand.” Great lyrics, too.

Disappointed Parents Am I Getting Through? EP

The title song here is a minor classic, and it sets the pace for a very high-speed record. Most of it is pretty good, although the drummer can’t quite seem to keep up with it all.

Fatal Existence Life’s Adventures Begin Here Cassette

A blistering thrash attack, matched by very intelligent lyrics. These guys really shred, and their material belies the current clichés about “mindless anti-government” punk rock that are bandied about in some circles.

Human Therapy Domesticated People EP

A very well-recorded and interesting release. Some of it is thrashed-out, but it mutates into several styles—heavy metal, jazz, power pop—without falling apart at the seems. The title song is a real standout.

The Mob Step Forward EP

The second EP from this New York group, and it’s really quite powerful. There are only three songs, but each is delivered with strength and seeming conviction, with lyrics of a positive but militant nature. Dynamite.

Modifiers Not This Time, Darlin’ cassette

Solid medium-to-fast-paced punk. The song titles are also in the older idiot punk mold—”She Won’t Cum,” “Jerk Off,” “Bust Yer Face,” etc. Hmmm.

No Label American Beef Cassette

Pretty intelligent stuff from this Modesto, CA band (no relation to North Carolina’s NO LABELS). Their music is bass-heavy, slower, and fuzzed-out. Interesting.

No Direction Lost in ’83 Cassette

Well-done—but fairly standard—thrash. NO DIRECTION’s lyrics cover a wide range of subjects and, compared to what’s generally available in America’s stifling heartland, they’re a breath of crisp, cool air.

The Accüsed / Rejectors Split LP

These two Seattle bands have a side each to get across their points. Live, the REJECTORS are the stronger band, but on this record they lack a certain explosiveness and come off a bit generic. On the other hand, the ACCUSED seem to have more snarl, zip, and variety here. Oh yeah, you’ll also learn why all Seattle punks say “do the Frog.”

Rude Awakening Slaves of Freedom cassette

This band contains some former members of Y.I.A. The vocals and lyrics are the most noteworthy qualities, as the music tends to lack a certain zip. “Sid Is Dead” is a classic cut, though.

Special Forces 8 Songs to Kill By Cassette

Not as dumb as the title might indicate. Most of the lyrics are typically “hardcore,” as is the music, most likely due to the fact that this is a brand new band (featuring Orlando on vocals). There’s one hilarious song here called “Maggots,” which is a real horror show.

Stains Stains LP

These L.A. STAINS have been around for quite awhile, but they’ve only now gotten around to putting out vinyl of their own. It’s hard-hitting thrash with a lot of metal influences, including sledgehammer rhythms and lead solos. I was expecting more of the slower metal-type songs, but this record kicks ass. Not to be confused with the Texas STAINS (now MDC).

Trial Is This To Be? EP

Slowish punk in a CRASS-like style, done exceedingly well. Their sound is minimal and cleanly produced, and there’s some great moody guitar work. For more info on TRIAL, see the report under “Northern California” in this issue.

Unclaimed Lost Trails 12″

The psychedelic sixties, maaan. These guys are from the slightly goofy school, mostly in the SIR DOUGLAS QUINTET/SYNDICATE OF SOUND mold. They have Americanized Jagger vocals, psych guitar, and then lots of bubbly percussion, which gives the record a lighter sound than the punkier stuff I love.

V/A America’s Dairyland cassette

Although the sound quality varies, this is one of those must-have regional compilations. There are plenty of keen tracks here from the likes of DIE KREUZEN, SACRED ORDER, the TAR BABIES, NO, MECHT MENSCH, the CLITBOYS, S.U.M., the CRUSTIES, and many more.

V/A Eastern Front LP

In general, this is much stronger than the first Eastern Front compilation album, especially in the production department. There are good performances by WASTED YOUTH, JFA, CH3, the FARTZ, CIRCLE ONE, BATTALION OF SAINTS, FREE BEER, the LEWD, and England’s CHRON GEN. The only drawback (again!) is the lack of an info sheet on the bands.

V/A First Strike cassette

Nine bands from all over the US are featured on this compilation tape from a new alternative label. Most of them are in the thrash vein—the CLITBOYS, VIOLATION, the VATICAN COMMANDOS, POISON CENTER, the SKOUNDRELZ, EAT THE RICH, and CULTURAL BREAKTHROUGH—but MR. EPP appears to provide some humor and variation. Good show.

Bananamen Play Songs Made Popular by the Cramps EP

Bizarre! Who is this? The METEORS? The liner notes create a mystery, stating that this is a genuine ’60s band that just happened to do songs later covered by the CRAMPS, but I doubt that. Whatever, this modern psychobilly release definitely outdoes the CRAMPS by presenting even more frantic renditions of “Love Me,” etc. Great!

D&V The Nearest Door EP

I was about to term this drum and vocal combination as a real innovation in punk till I remembered SF’s NOH MERCY, who did it years ago. Actually, I think the latter’s approach was more exciting than this, because D&V’s drumming tends to be quite repetitive, and the vocals are too poetic and even in their delivery. Still, it’s refreshing because it’s different.

The Enemy Gateway to Hell LP

Mostly all mid-tempo punk (save two thrashers), this album contains several tracks off their 7″ers, and some new material. None of it immediately grabs me, perhaps because of the accent on production, leaving a sterile-sounding product devoid of real commitment and excitement.

English Dogs Mad Punx and English Dogs 12″

It’s not always fair to make comparisons with well-known bands, but in this case the sound is just too close to let it slide. The fast tempos, metallic guitars, lyrics, and vocal delivery all add up to… GBH, so decide on that basis.

The Mob The Mirror Breaks / Stay 7″

The A-side reminds me a lot of something the SOFT BOYS might have put out. It’s almost the punk equivalent of folk rock, which is not to say it’s no good because it’s actually very catchy. The flip is sort of a poor man’s WIRE—stripped down post-punk with a bit of tension, but lacking enough build-up.

Omega Tribe No Love Lost LP

Powerful slow-to-medium-tempo punk. Some of the music almost ranges into rock, but OMEGA TRIBE always retain their distinctive guitar riffing and overall impact. Lyrically, they are in the “Peace and Freedom” school of punk, constantly stating their amazement at mankind’s total idiocy. The great “Man Made” exemplifies that logical standpoint.

Newtown Neurotics Beggars Can Be Choosers LP

A whole LP’s worth of this veteran group’s pop-punk style. It’s got very melodic singing, classic early punk power-chording, and incredibly incisive lyrics, all of which add up to a refreshing change of pace. I can’t help but like them.

Onslaught First Strike EP

Slow-to-medium-tempo stuff with no special spunk. “State Control” has a great memorable chorus, but the sluggish drumming holds ONSLAUGHT back.

Riot Squad I’m OK – Fuck You EP

Trad punk bands like this are best taken in small doses on 7″er instead of entire albums. “In the Future” is weak, “Society’s Fodder” really picks up the pace, and “Friday Night Hero” tops it off with great power. All the songs express progressive and hopeful sentiments, though.

UK Subs Flood of Lies LP

There’s a little bit of everything here. First, there’s a little punk, some acoustic “pretty” music interspersed throughout, and some moodier post-punk stuff too. Some of it reminds me of pre-punk rock groups like the STRAWBS. In any case, the punk material here is mostly mid-to-slow-tempo, rhythm-oriented, and not very fiery.

Gepøpel Mooi Volendam demo cassette

This GEPØPEL tape is a one-man production. Niels de Wid played all the instruments on these eight songs, and also made the booklet. It’s interesting high-speed thrash (not unlike CRASS), interspersed with all sorts of weirdness and effects. Now, he’s found more band members, so the next GEPØPEL release should be even more solid.

Red Tide Rundown cassette

Eleven more great songs from this Canadian unit. With their wicked delivery and tight, imaginative arrangements, these guys constitute one of the more talented young bands around today. Most of the songs are thrashers, but there’s some real weirdness in the vocals.

Silent Majority Jungle of Lies cassette

A weird juxtaposition of thrash and post-punk styles can be found within individual songs here. Sometimes it works well; at other times, it seems a bit awkward, especially when they lapse into an almost folk-rock style. Still, SILENT MAJORITY comes up with a new angle, and that’s what makes them interesting.

Slam Wild Riders cassette

An excellent skatepunk band from Sweden. SLAM delivers solidly produced medium/fast thrash with bone-crunching guitars. Real cool.

V/A Alcoholic for the Evil One cassette

Another compilation tape from Italy. This one includes material by I REFUSE IT, the CHEETAH CHROME MOTHERFUCKERS, PUTRID FEVER, INDIGESTI, CHELSEA HOTEL, PSA, NABAT, and RAW POWER. Tape compilations seem to be the rage over there, presumably due to the high price of pressing records. Not surprisingly, the quality varies considerably.

V/A Autogestione! cassette

This tape has some wicked shit from seven hot Italian bands, including PRAVDA, SOGLIA DEL DOLORE, I REFUSE IT, WARFARE, IMPACT, OBSESSIONE, and the WRONG BOYS. Truly excellent.

V/A Concerto Punk – Torviscosa cassette

A live recording of what must have been an incredible show. The bands that appeared were the WRETCHED, TOXICAL WARFARE, PLASTIC SURGERY, UPSET NOISE, EU’S ARSE, ISOLATION, 5° BRACCIO, and IMPACT. The sound quality is predictably spotty, but the excitement comes through.

Cracked Hirn / Rivolta Dell’Odio L’Affaire Marat/Sade EP

Side 1 of this compilation EP features RIVOLTA DELL’ODIO, who are sort of a sparser version of CRASS; the flip presents CRACKED HIRN, who have a fuller sound which is nevertheless extremely raw. Both bands share an anarchist/pacifist outlook, as have all the other bands on this label’s two earlier releases.

V/A Ljubljana Hardcore cassette

Four thrash bands at various levels of proficiency, recorded live at Ljubljana’s first-ever hardcore gig (see the Yugoslav report for more details). STRES D.A. are particularly awesome. A collector’s item, to say the least.

V/A Music on Fire cassette

Though released by an American label, this tape features some of Italy’s most awesome bands. There are plenty of cuts each by 5° BRACCIO, RAW POWER, the WRETCHED, INDIGESTI, STAZIONE SUICIDA, RAPPRESAGLIA, and CRASH BOX. A great introduction to a lot of hard-to-get material at a cheap price.

V/A Raptus LP

Another Italian compilation on vinyl. It contains a few great thrash tracks by the WOPS, RAW POWER, UART PUNK, and the WRONG BOYS; DRULL, the U.D.S., PETROLIO, and LAST CALL provide some less interesting older-style punk. All in all, it’s pretty good, and it’s worth buying just for RAW POWER’s songs.

V/A Really Fast vol. 1 LP

Fourteen different bands demonstrate that Sweden has become one of the most intense centers for hardcore music in Europe, along with Finland, Holland, and Italy. There’s some killer thrash here from the likes of HUVUDTVÄTT (the HEADCLEANERS), DNA, MISSBRUKARNA, ANTI-CIMEX, and others. It’s also got a neat folding sleeve, so order it today.

No Jap / Upside / Wrong Boys split cassette

Three bands and a garagy production here. UPSIDE are so-so, NO JAP somewhat better, but the WRONG BOYS really come on with an aggressive thrash attack which I like a lot. 32 songs in all.

Sick Pleasure Speed Rules EP

A historical curiosity more than a musical necessity. This band went on to become CODE OF HONOR with the addition of a new singer, and evolved out of the TOOLS and X-ILES. SICK PLEASURE’s vocalist is now in VERBAL ABUSE. The music here is metallic thrash punk that sings the praises of shooting speed, killing parents, and mental breakdowns; the dark side of the SF scene.

V/A Starving Dogs cassette

A Chicago-area compilation with lots of styles represented. There’s plenty of thrash, some experimental stuff, and some punky pop. The sound quality isn’t the best, which tends to hurt the impact of some of these groups, but garage outfits like EVIL EYE benefit thereby. The other bands are BLOODY NAILS, NEGATIVE ELEMENT (now defunct), END RESULT, POLITICAL JUSTICE, VERBOTEN, the SEISMIC WAVES, KGB, GROAN BOX, ROTA, AOF, the ANTI-BODIES, BLOODY MURDER, NO RELATION, and ONO.

V/A Life Is Morning, So Why Not Steal This Record? LP

The third in the Life Is series. This one’s got two live GERMS classics to its credit, plus neat stuff by the MINUTEMEN, MODERN WARFARE, ANTI, MOOD OF DEFIANCE, HARI KARI, SIN 34, ARTISTIC DECLINE, and MODERN TORTURE. REDD KROSS disappoint with their “metal” number, and SHATTERED FAITH is so-so. Then there are nine more bands that get into electronics, folk, jazz, etc., for the adventurous.

Graven Image / Honor Role Your Skull Is My Bowl cassette

Two Richmond bands share this tape—HONOR ROLE and GRAVEN IMAGE. The former is a bit better recorded, but it matters little since both produce great manic blasts of hardcore hysteria. (Uh oh, I’m starting to sound like Pushead.) Send away.

Anti-System Defence of the Realm EP

An insistent, demanding political thrash attack that seems to come from the heart. Releases like this remind me that high-quality stuff can still emerge from England. Get it today!

Attak Zombies LP

This record is better than a lot of the LPs being produced by the most recent generations of British punk bands. The guitar-enhancing production here is up to the usual UK standard, but these guys have more energy than most of their plodding contemporaries. On the other hand, the lyrics aren’t too interesting.

Dead Man’s Shadow Toleration Street / In My Dreams 7″

“Toleration Street” is barely tolerable pop/punk/rock; the B-side isn’t at all tolerable. Enough said.

Genocides Honey, This Ain’t No Romance / Keep Your Hands Off Me 7″

Both sides have a slight HEARTBREAKERS rock ’n’ roll feel, with punkier drumming and some sharp guitar work. Unfortunately, the lyrics would make Johnny Thunders look like a paragon of enlightenment.

Lepers God’s Inhumane EP

A four-songer, much harder and more thrashed-out than their first excellent release. Once again, it’s well done, but also somewhat on the metal side of punk. My favorite cut is “Genius as Thief,” a real bone-cruncher.

Lincoln Street Exit Whatever Happened to Baby Gessus EP

Three songs in the old Texas ’60s psychedelic vein. This could be either a reissue or boot of a vintage group, or a new band with a great sense of history, but it sounds really cool. Musically, it isn’t the frantic punky stuff; it’s more of a DOORS-type sound, organ and all.

Peace Corpse Life, Death, and Quincy EP

Snarly vocals over slower, nasty punk. There’s a tinge of “horror” rock here, mostly satirical, as well as some fine, intelligent lyrics. Once again, a nice change of pace from Toxic Shock.

Social Distortion Mommy’s Little Monster LP

You’ve got to know by now what SOCIAL DISTORTION sound like—those distinctive vocals, the harmonies, the rockin’ guitars, and melodic hooks galore. Their album is filled with more of the same. Nothing here is too frantic except “The Creeps,” which really blazes forth. There’s precious little exciting punky-pop around these days, but this is one of the rare examples of it.

Satan’s Cheerleaders Created in Your Image cassette

Wicked! A totally ferocious thrash attack, enhanced here by the poor sound quality. Sometimes that special garage quality is a plus, as with SUBURBAN MUTILATION. The lyrics here are also delivered with commitment and intelligence, making this an all-around treat.

Son of Sam Bring Out Your Dead cassette

Slow, intense, fuzzed-out hardcore with lots of feedback, sort of in the FANG or FLIPPER vein. There’s something really menacing and cool about this tape, which contains fifteen songs recorded live.

Suburban Mutilation Suburban Mutilation cassette

Hey, are these guys selling out? On this latest tape from Norb and company, you can actually hear the music and stuff. And it still sounds like shit! No, actually it’s still manic, noisy, and psychotic Midwestern thrash with real class. Get a copy today!

The Undead Verbal Abuse / Misfit 7″

Latest from one-time MISFIT Bobby Steele. The line-up on this release is now defunct, as Bobby moved to SF, linked up with Olga of LEWD, and is moving to LA. A-side is pretty powerful punk, of the mid-tempo variety, right up Jack Rabid’s alley. B is even slower.

The Velvet Underground Live ’68 LP

A new bootleg-quality release of a vintage VELVET UNDERGROUND performance in Cleveland. The VELVETS are undoubtedly my favorite group of all time, so I can’t be too objective. Suffice it to say that this record contains some real rarities—songs unreleased in any form—and some of Lou Reed’s most manic, dissonant, and nerve-wracking guitar work ever.

Aryan Disgrace Faggot in the Family / Teenage S&M 7″

Some old-fashioned ’77-style garage punk with dumb lyrics and everything. Totally ridiculous and enjoyable.

The F.U.’s My America LP

To quote Pushead, the music here “storms out detonating gusts of energetic exertion, wild euphoria flailing in rapid determination waiting to explode.” The lyrics, on the other hand, tread a fine line between obnoxious satire and mindless reaction, and after conducting an interview with them in which they stated “America rules” in all seriousness, adding that immigrants entered the US because they were “too dumb to run their own governments,” it’s all too apparent that theirs is a regressive mentality better suited to fraternity jocks than so-called punks.

Heart Attack Keep Your Distance 12″

This six-songer varies from great to exceptional thrash. Well, maybe one cut drags a bit (“Society”), but the rest really rip. Unconditionally recommended.

GG Allin & the Scumfucs Hard Candy Cock EP

GG apparently has a new band this time around, and I can’t say I’m particularly crazy about them. Instead of his earlier ’60s garage punk sound, he now has more of a late ’60s metal sound, solos and all. Idiotic and poorly recorded.

Ill Repute Oxnard: Land of No Toilets EP

Jeff was blasting this from his room the other day while I was trying to sleep. Next day I asked him what that was, cause it sounded great, even though I should have been pissed. He felt it was pretty generic, so I went back and listened to it. Generic or not, this fucking wails! Guess he needed the sleep!

Riot Squad Don’t Be Denied EP

The new RIOT SQUAD release features mostly faster songs. The super raw guitars are the best part; unfortunately, the drumming seems to hold back their momentum a bit. Not bad.

Uproar And the Lord Said “Let There Be!” LP

Fast punk and thrash that’s well-produced and snappy. The guitars sound great here (as they do on most English recordings), and the songs have that little extra something that makes them memorable. A pretty good album from the UK.

V/A I’ve Got Those… Demo-lition Blues LP

Eighteen previously unrecorded young bands that range from ’77-style punk to thrash to current Britpunk to Oi. The quality of the material and sound varies, but most of it is absurdly predictable. I like SOLVENT ABUSE, the ABORTED, and DEVOID the most, but there certainly aren’t any classics here.

Kosili Hardcör aus der Provinz cassette

Well, hardcore thrash it’s not! KOSILI play older-style punk that’s quirky and sort of funny-sounding. The lyrics are probably funny too, but they’re in German and Italian so I don’t know for sure. That’s probably to be expected though, because these guys hail from the rarified atmosphere of the Swiss Alps.

Impact / The Eu’s Arse Split EP

Two bands share this 7” slab. EU’S ARSE, who have a previous release, combine breakneck DISCHARGE-like repetitive riffs with unlikely-sounding vocals that suggest a poet gone berserk. IMPACT add a bit more variety, including fuzzier guitars and raspy vocals that mesh better.

No Tag Can We Get Away With It? LP

Medium-to-fast-tempo punk, with a bit of thrash thrown in for good measure. This live record is well recorded, and the band displays good musicianship, some neat guitar work, and strong vocals. On this record NO TAG succeeds in shedding their previous Oi approach, a change for the better.

The Nils Now cassette

Hard-driving melodic rock meets punk. The NILS remind me a bit of the WIPERS, in terms of the vocal qualities, the heavy guitar orientation, and the hooklines. A nice change of pace.

PSA Sulla Nostra Pelle! cassette

Highly political hardcore with a raw edge. The sound quality on this tape is pretty mediocre, so it’s not the best opportunity to judge this band, but they sound pretty repetitive here.

Putrid Fever Draw of Fear cassette

God, how many hot hardcore bands can there be in Italy? Here’s another ten-song power release, mostly in an American-style stop-and-go thrash mode. The lyrics are overtly political.

S.C.A.B. Know the Enemy cassette

Ten songs of a political nature, most of which are pretty long (perhaps too long). The music is eclectic and rockish, incorporating funk, pop, jazz, etc.

Upright Citizens Make the Future Mine & Yours LP

One of Germany’s better bands follows their 12”er with another mixture of thrash and punk. All of it is competent, and some of it is especially moving. I love the cut entitled “The End,” which is moody and scary until all hell breaks loose. As the UPRIGHT CITIZENS say, “fuck their wars.”

V/A Blender Mix LP

Eight bands from Ottawa and possibly Quebec. Some are thrash (OUTBREAK, HERGS CORPS), some are punk (RANDY PETERS, MODERNES PICKLES), one is garage (the LAST PRAYERS), and the rest are experimental or HALF JAPANESE-type noise bands. Another eclectic regional compilation for the archives.

Avengers Avengers LP

From 1977-79, the AVENGERS were the quintessential SF punk band. Fronted by the electrifying Penelope Houston and powered by Greg Ingraham’s amazing guitar playing, they were far ahead of their time and, like many others in that situation, unable to stay together. Finally, this 14-song memento has been released for those poor unfortunates who never saw them live in their heyday, never got their first 7″ EP (included here), and/or never got their 12″ EP (alternative versions included here). Other tracks include unreleased studio outtakes and an incredible live version of “Fuck You” that totally destroys. A must.

V/A Holland Hardcore cassette

Nine bands, only one of which—ZMIV—appeared on the Als Je Haar… compilation reviewed last issue. Yet all of these bands are terrific as well, and indicate the depth of the new Dutch hardcore scene. On this 70-song tape of varying sound quality, one can hear the SQUITS, LÄRM, ZWEETKUTTEN, the VIKINGS, STANX, GLORIOUS DEATH, KNAX, and LA RESISTANCE.

V/A Get Off My Back LP

From the City of Brotherly Love comes this great compilation. It features a few songs from ten bands (see the Philly scene report for a list), and includes all kinds of modern punk sounds. There’s out-and-out thrash, quirky punk, slower punk, faster punk, jazzy punk, etc. Mandatory listening.

V/A The Master Tape Vol. 2 2xLP

Double-LP, to be exact. Out at last, seemingly a year in the making, it features 19 bands, most from the Midwest, and a few from the East. There’s some great stuff, so so-so stuff, and lost of variety in aggressive, abrasive punk styles. It’ll take too long to run down who does what, but you’ll undoubtedly find out for yourself, as it’s really affordable, and definitely necessary. But it’s murder on disc jockeys (finding the correct tracks).

The Stalin 虫 LP

This great band from Japan has been putting out records since 1979 (five 7″ers, one 12″ EP, and two LPs), but they’ve somehow escaped notice in the West until now. Their latest picture disc album is amazing, like those of the best Finnish bands. The slower songs are wickedly powerful and tuneful, with great wrenching guitar work, and the more numerous thrashers are awesome. Plus, Japanese production is the best in the world, so order them when Rough Trade begins distributing them.

V/A Why Are We Here? EP

The STILLBORN CHRISTIANS, NO LABELS, BLOODMOBILE, and COC contribute about three songs each to this exceptional testimony to the variety and power of the North Carolina hardcore scene. Don’t miss out.

Vatican Commandos Hit Squad for God EP

Mediocre production hurts this otherwise intense thrash attack. There aren’t any musical surprises, but it’s delivered with exceptional power, and that makes all the difference. Good debut.

Sudden Death Stagflation cassette

Thrash with a weird metallic sound to it, almost like an electrified acoustic guitar or bass. Sometimes it seems overcrowded—too much noise at once, too repetitive. The slower thrash numbers have more impact on this new cassette, but personally I like their first tape better.

Deranged Diction No Art, No Cowboys, No Rules cassette

A fine tape’s worth here. It reminds me of what a cross between 7 SECONDS and the VANDALS would sound like. I really go for it in a big way. DERANGED DICTION is originally from Missoula, Montana, but they’ve relocated to Seattle.

True West Steps to the Door 12″ 12"

I seem to be having a flashback. Is this early PINK FLOYD? The WATCHBAND? No, it’s a current band that’s gradually become more original and biting than those LA copycat psych groups. The guitar etches notes green and purple inside my brain. Please shut the window.

White Flag S Is for Space LP

These guys might be punk’s answer to FRANK ZAPPA. The music ranges from garage punk to heavy metal to metal-punk to rock to thrash to experimental stuff to just plain ridiculousness, and is interspersed with talking, interviews, and blank space. This album is simultaneously imaginative, challenging, and dumb beyond belief.

V/A Viva Las Vegas cassette

Five varied hardcore bands appear on this Nevada sampler. SUBTERFUGE play mid-tempo British-style punk; TWISTED MORALS OF AMERICA have a slow hard sound with a wicked raw guitar; the infamous MIA (who’ve recently reformed) employ their furious thrash attack; F-8 sound primarily like full-on DISCHARGE; and SELF-ABUSE attend the 7 SECONDS school of tuneful thrash. Great!

V/A Ohmigod! Hardcore cassette

There are eleven bands on this latest compilation from Chainsaw fanzine, mainly from New York state and Pennsylvania. It contains a lot of thrash, some punk, and some art/noise material. The musical competence varies from band to band, but most are good. They include the REVENGERS, NO THANKS, SOCIAL DISEASE, WASTED TALENT, the FATALITIES, SUBURBAN AGGRESSION, SMERSH, CRACKED ACTOR, NOTA, and others.

Bomb Squad Children of War 12″

The second BOMB SQUAD release really kicks ass. It features some killer older-style punk and some more thrashed-out numbers, all of which are delivered with zeal and commitment, as are the lyrics. This semi-obscure band does it right!

Bonded In Unity Hell On Earth cassette

This sounds like a live recording because it’s hard to pick out much detail. Nonetheless, B.I.U. deliver a strong thrash onslaught with thoughtful political lyrics. I’d like to see these characters get into a studio.

Bollocks Meditteran EP

Eight new songs from the band that previously released the classic All Rock Stars Should Be Drafted EP. Side one features six short, punchy, creative thrash-style numbers, while the flip has two longer, slower, and more experimental songs. A creative outfit.

Channel 3 After the Lights Go Out LP

More of that pop-punk sound so characteristic of LA’s Poshboy Label. The production quality contributes to CH3’s powerful overall delivery, and the songs are as catchy as usual. I’m not too thrilled by the romantic themes that appear here, and it’s depressing that another new band is covering a sexist STONES song, but this album is pretty entertaining.

The Chocolate Watchband The Best of The Chocolate Watchband LP

Now these San Jose guys really shredded. They were among the kings of ’60s raunch rock, excelling at straight-on ’60s punk, psychedelic freak-outs, and atmospheric folk-rock. Whatever, this album is all super-cool (except for “Misty Lane” and “Tender Trap”), sort of like the early STONES. Go out and get it.

The End Holocaust Hop EP

Three songs, three styles—rock ’n’ roll punk on the title cut, folk-heavy metal-punk on “Communisty,” and thrash on “California.” All are produced well and performed well, though they might be a tad too clean for THE END’s garage approach. A good basic release.

JFA Valley of the Yakes LP

Like their cool debut EP, JFA’s album is chock full of super enjoyable thrash tunes. Their songs, whether high-speed blasts or the occasional surf-style instrumental like “Baja,” are perfect for hot fun in the sun—skateboarding, surfing, drag racing and, of course, slamming and skanking. The main improvement here lies in the area of production—the guitar has more edge this time around. Even though they’re from Arizona, JFA are the California beach band of the ’80s.

Insanity Defense Betrayed cassette

This tape contains fourteen songs that shred musically and lyrically. It’s an all-out thrash attack that I highly recommend.

Killing Children Certain Death EP

Garage punk (the instrumentation) meets early SoCal surf punk (the vocals), drops acid (the production), and voila! I really like this seven-song debut.

Malignant Growth Nobody Cares cassette

A good tape with original, intense thrash. The lyrics are pretty dark and depressing, but somehow they don’t crush you down, maybe because they’re obliterated by the screaming fuzzed-out guitar.

Lockjaw Dead Friends EP

As with their first record, the sound here is tight and raw, and the vocals rip. And as with the first EP, there are some good lyrics and some real losers—“Portland” and “Full of Hate” are sound critiques of politics, but “No Ⓐ” perpetuates the common misinterpretation of anarchy as a lack of order, and “She’s a Slut” exemplifies the old double standard at work.

MDC Multi-Death Corporations EP

Four new songs that come enclosed in a well-researched and informative fold-out sleeve. The music is in MDC’s intense, complex, stop-on-a-dime thrash style, but the vocals have developed into an amalgam of rap and hardcore phrasings. This latest assault by one of the world’s leading political bands, in terms of both beliefs and commitment, is strengthened by excellent production.

The Lust Dread in NY EP

This sounds like ’79-style US punk with Debbie Harry singing. Most of the cuts put me off, mainly because of the poppy vocals, but I do like “Gimme More Distortion.”

Part Time Christians Strength Through Bowling cassette

Great tape! Some of it is slow, painful FLIPPER-ish noise, and the rest is manic. There’s a helluva lot of feedback, whether droning or thrashing, and the vocals are cool. And how can you hate a band that loves to bowl?

RF7 Submit to Them Freely EP

A strong three-track outing that displays more ’60s punk influences than I’ve heard in them before. The title song and “Not Now Generation” are hammering metal punk efforts that remind me slightly of what the STOOGES might sound like today; the other number (CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL’s “Fortunate Son”) is the most obvious ’60s connection.

Pariah Youths of Age LP

The usual excellent Poshboy production adds to the impact of this Northern California punky-pop band. They have a powerful clean sound in the CH3 vein. The songs aren’t real short, but they don’t drag at all. All in all, a fine album.

Rifle Sport Voice of Reason LP

The GANG OF FOUR is the obvious reference point, but these guys add a more powerful and raw guitar sound to the funk rhythms, and occasionally break into more thrashy structures. The recording is excellent.

Social Revenge There’s Always a Way Out cassette

It’s garage tape time. That term applies to both the sound quality and the thematic humor. SOCIAL REVENGE isn’t real tight, but they’re fun.

Mecht Mensch Acceptance EP

A mixture of fast and slow hardcore from a Wisconsin aggregation with a close relationship to the TAR BABIES. The arrangements are fairly complex, like those of DIE KREUZEN, and my fave cut is “Land of the Brave.” Watch for an upcoming TAR BABIES disc.

The Replacements Hootenanny LP

More varied and experimental than their previous outings, and it suffers for it. Overall, it’s not nearly as powerful or rocking; there are several bluesy or countrified numbers in place of their standard raw blasts. The standout cut is “You Lose,” which is great, infectious, and innovative rock ’n’ roll, with a bassline right out of the MOVE’s repertoire.

Secret Hate Vegetables Dancing 12″

Instrumentally, SECRET HATE utilizes an interesting variety of thrash tempos, although two songs have a Latin or funk influence. The lyrics are appropriately vague and cryptic, a New Alliance trademark.

The Bang Gang She Ran… But We Ran Faster EP

Competent thrash with a quirky edge, but the lyrics… yuk. “4 X the Fun,” like the cover art and the band name, revolve around the joys of gang rape. I suppose it’s just another punk “joke,” but in the offensive 6th grade style.

Anti Defy the System LP

Flying in the face of the anti-political, anti-peace reaction, ANTI fearlessly display a peace sign and a V-symbol on the cover of their second album. The lyrics continue the counterattack, meshing both general and personal politics to form an intelligent complement for their attack. The sound here is more refined and harmonic than that on their last outing, sort of like early CHANNEL 3.

Big Boys Lullabies Help the Brain Grow LP

An excellent album by this long-standing Austin band. Solid production enhances the many musical styles this group bashes out with ease—thrash, funk, punk, pop, ballads, you name it. The words are barbed and confrontational, and Biscuit’s singing reminds me a lot of the UNDERTONES’ raspy vocalist. It’s a good ’un.

Fallout Home Killed Meat LP

This is a bit better than the other UK records I was assigned this time. It contains some thrash and some older-style punk, all of which is delivered with considerable power. Personally, I like the live tracks best—they have a totally industrial quality to them, sort of like hardcore meets THROBBING GRISTLE.

Emergency Points of View EP

A pretty unremarkable release. All three songs are in the ’78 UK style and, though they’re adequately performed, no real enthusiasm is displayed and no cuts really stand out.

GBH Catch 23 / Hellhole 7″

Good latest effort by this metal-punk outfit that’s quickly gathering a bad rep as having an advanced stage of “Rockstaritis.” The B-side is especially strong and well produced.

Red Alert We’ve Got the Power LP

Oh yeah? You must have lost it all before you recorded this. Actually, it’s not that bad at all—I just couldn’t resist. There are a few decent “skunk” tracks here, but most plod along with no special spark.

Subhumans Evolution EP

Now here’s an English band and record that I do like. All of this material has that special feel of intelligence and commitment, whether the rock ’n’ roll of the title track, the thrash of “Not Me,” of the power-chording of the unlisted track. One of the best, no doubt about it.

Apostasy Pseudo-Punks cassette

A well produced yet raw rhythm-heavy band with a garage feel, not unlike their fellow countrymen, the SUBHUMANS. The lyrics are all political, and are best summed up by their name, which means a “renunciation of previous beliefs, religion…”

The Asperitys This Sucks cassette

Another new Dutch band that seems to be more influenced by American thrash than UK punk styles. Although the recording quality isn’t the best—there’s one studio side and one live side—it’s good enough to reveal the ASPERITYS as a fine group with a lot of potential.

City X / ADS BZ-Støttesingle EP

The CITY X side consists of two songs, one in a middle-period CLASH pop-punk vein, the other a more contemporary thrasher. The ADS track is a long, drawn-out, slow-to-medium-tempo punk cut with no particular gusto to it.

Bluttat Liberté LP

Some plodding German punk and then—wham!—some super-frenetic thrash. Two singers share vocal duties, and the woman really wails. There’s some great stuff here, and I highly recommend over half of this record.

Dayglo Abortions Out of the Womb LP

This Canadian LP has been out for a while, eh. But it’s finally gonna get the distribution it deserves, eh. Mostly, it’s great, tight thrash with a few slower metallic DOA-type songs, eh. But the real joy of it is the totally satirical and retarded nature of the words, lampooning just about everyone, eh. Get it, eh.

Frites Modern 6 Met cassette

Six songs that rage at the listener. There’s a lot of MINOR THREAT influence here, in that the songs are delivered with incredible force but have melodies and hooks galore. Great stuff that must be heard.

Þeyr The Walk EP

Two of these songs by Iceland’s ÞEYR are pretty lightweight experimental numbers, but one (“Positive Affirmations”) makes this EP worth buying—it’s real fast-paced post-punk with raw guitars, great drumming, and THROBBING GRISTLE-like industrialized vocals.

Reaction Unit NGK cassette

New material from some of the people formerly in South Africa’s RIOT SQUAD. Once again, the songs are vitriolic critiques of that country’s apartheid police state regime. The music consists of older-style punk and reggae, and the five RIOT SQUAD songs from the EP are also included.

Raw Power Power cassette

This band is aptly named—they’re one of the best I’ve heard from Europe. They present a tight all-out thrash assault with powerhouse instrumentation. Go for this today!

Rough Torino È La Mia Città EP

Four songs in the thrash/Oi style, faster than most but not as fast as the EXPLOITED. Two songs are in English, and their titles—”Riot in the Street” and “Abuse of Power”—give an indication of ROUGH’s thematic concerns.

Dead Man’s Shadow The 4 P’s LP

Jeff, the next time you assign me to review some so-so ’77 sounding UK stuff, you better make sure it’s a 45, or I’m gonna force to sit in your room and listen to it at full volume.

Stazione Suicida Nuova Speranza Nuova Rivolta cassette

When STAZIONE SUICIDA thrash, it’s a wicked noise they make. Unfortunately, they get bogged down too often in horrific post-punk depresso stuff that doesn’t do much for me. Great singer, though.

Society’s Grudge To Hell With Heroes cassette

A 12-song debut that showcases a basic thrash sound. In this instance, the fast cuts work a lot better than the ones that start slow and build up. There’s something lacking here, like a spark, but it’s still worth a listen.

V/A Als Je Haar Maar Goed Zit… Nr. 2 LP

23 songs by eight of Holland’s many great thrash and punk bands. The bands include PANDEMONIUM, the HAEMORRHOIDS, ZMIV, the OUTLAWZ, NULL-A, the LAST FEW, the AMSTERDAMNED, and BGK (who have an incredibly hot debut LP of their own out), and there isn’t one lame track here. Get this today!

V/A Skins e Punks = TNT EP

Side one is real mediocre, with DIOXINA’s standard slow UK punk and a ska tune by ARRM, but side two is killer. ARRM returns with some blistering stuff, NABAT showcases some fast Oi, and RAPPRESAGLIA rips out strong thrash.

V/A Kaaos – Lehden Kokoelmakasetti cassette

Seven bands appear on this compilation put together by Finland’s Kaaos fanzine. It contains some studio demos and some live recordings, and includes both better-known bands (TERVEET KÄDET, the BASTARDS, RIISTETYT, KAAOS) and newer up-and-coming groups like PROTESTI, TAMPERE SS, and FUCKING FINLAND. Uneven but worthwhile.

White Cross What’s Going On? LP

This isn’t as musically thrashed out as their great 7″ debut, but it’s still powerful as hell; in that sense, it parallels the direction that SS DECONTROL are charting out. The production here is also much improved. I’ve got a feeling that WHITE CROSS will never be as good on record as I hear they are live, but this is still a necessary addition to anyone’s hardcore collection.

Mox Nix We Won’t Be Controlled cassette

One of the most powerful new groups I’ve heard from SoCal. It’s head-on thrash meets SOCIAL DISTORTION. The production is great, and it doesn’t hurt that their lyrical commitment matches the intensity of the music.

Money Dogs America Is Falling cassette

Uncompromising lyrics from this band that contains former NO THANKS guitarist Rob Urie. The music is disjointed thrash.

No You’re Nothing cassette

Medium-speed thrash, with an occasionally quirky guitar. The vocals sound a bit like YOUTH BRIGADE and X. Good challenging lyrics.

No Labels Jayne Doe cassette

A great, great tape. I hope they release it as a record ’cause it’s as good as thrash comes. By now, you should have picked up the No Core compilation, so you’ll have some idea what they sound like.

Offenders We Must Rebel cassette

An awesome Austin band that includes ex-MDC bassist Mike. Their music reflects that to a certain degree, but there is also a classical thrash/punk feel to this tape, not unlike MINOR THREAT and 7 SECONDS. It’s much faster than their earlier single, so watch for new vinyl this summer.

The Queers Love Me EP

Minimal production and instrumentation set the tone for this garage release. It sounds like classic ’77 material, dumb lyrics and all. Charming, in a retarded sort of way.

Rapid Vapid School cassette

An unusual band. Amidst the thrash, there’s some post-punk influence, but not the lightweight, arty type. This tape features interesting, driving arrangements; tight, innovative playing; and a male/female singing combo that is very different.

No Thanks Are You Ready to Die? EP

A five-song debut by this Metropolitan-area thrash outfit. Musically, it’s not exceptional, but it has a high level of intensity that’s enhanced by a tough female singer who spits out some challenging words.

STD Your Cheatin’ Heart cassette

This thrash band’s main distinction is that they take old songs (like “N.S.U.,” the title cut, and “Do You Love Me?”) and thrash ’em out to the max. Entertaining.

Sin 34 Do You Feel Safe? LP

SIN 34’s long-awaited debut album is finally here, and it’s been worth the wait. There are some serious songs and some hilarious ones, but the main difference between this release and their debut EP is the vastly-improved production. At times, these characters remind me of what the AVENGERS might have sounded like had they encountered thrash. Real neat.

Slaughterhouse Destroy Their Weapons cassette

An eight-song effort by this new half-male, half-female band. The vocals sound like those of the WRECKS; musically, it’s a mixture of garage punk and thrash. There’s lots of potential and great lyrics here. Plenty feisty.

Target Cells I Wanna Be Your Slave cassette

The metal side of hardcore, with occasional ventures into thrash. The guitar and drums are “heavy,” but it moves nonetheless.

Trial Live at the On Broadway cassette

Three songs, sometimes FLIPPER-ish, sometimes minimalist post-punk. The lyrics are in the depressing JOY DIVISION vein.

Eleventh Hour Vicious cassette

Former members of KARNAGE team up with new people and strike out in a new direction. It sorta reminds me of the new SoCal psychedelic bands, with some PiL, FLIPPER, and ADOLESCENTS aspects.

Frantix Insane Tunnel cassette

Not quite thrash, not quite punk, not quite rock ’n’ roll, not quite identifiable, but strongly delivered. Jello says they’re great live.

Jerry’s Kidz Counting Calories cassette

Sixteen tracks from yet another group with this name. Like the Boston version, this one plays totally vicious, manic, and tight thrash, the kind associated with the East Coast. Amazingly, these guys hail from Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Manual Zombi Music to Savage the Calmed Beast cassette

This is one foot out of the heavy metal graveyard. It’s like a cross between FEAR and the DICTATORS, both instrumentally and vocally.

Meatmen We’re the Meatmen… And You Suck! LP

I don’t share Jeff’s fascination with scatological humor, but I really do like the music here. Side one is a remixed and remastered version of their Blud Sausage EP, and it’s powerful as hell. The other side, which features live cuts, is also of superior production quality. All in all, not bad for an “old man” like Tesco.

Destructors Forces of Law EP

“Neutron Bomb” and “Forces of Law” are both OK, the first being the stronger of the two. The mix is really weird—the vocals and snare drum are way up front, while the guitar is in the background. “Wild Thing” is… well, you’ve probably heard that song by now.

The Autistics Turn Up the Volts 12″

A five-track 12″ of classic garage punk. You don’t find too much of this stuff around anymore. Retarded, melodic, and real raunchy. The cartoon cover is cool.

Beast of Beast Sex, Drugs… and Noise 12″

Good-sounding record. One side is highly produced thrash; the other is post-punk, but with an edge. The female vocalist screeches out songs that mostly assert that life is ugly.

Agression Don’t Be Mistaken LP

Older-style punk, aggressively done with inflections of thrash, Oi, and metal to break the overall medium-tempo feel. The vocals are literally spit out, and the high quality production gives the power chording a PISTOLS quality.

Artistic Decline Four Song EP

There’s nothing exceptional musically here—just OK thrash. The lyrics, unless intended as satire, have a naive quality that evokes ’60s optimism. I don’t know, maybe I’m getting jaded.

13 Jethro cassette

A four-song demo from a young Berkeley band. It ranges from thrash to classical punk, all done with flair and originality. Great start.

The Vacant I Know cassette

Garden-variety thrash from the Sacramento valley region. There are some sparks of originality, and “Tim’s in the Marines (And He Can’t Get Out)” is done in such a regimented, repetitive manner that you can fully understand his plight.

Violation Trendy cassette

Pretty good fast thrash, with some funny songs like “No Swimming in this Pool” and “Smoke Pot and Die.”

Whipping Boy The Sound of No Hands Clapping LP

This album features a lot of thrashers, but there are a few metallish and/or mood songs, and one bluesy thang. The lyrics are very provocative, covering nukes, parents, society, genocide, computers, and in-scene backstabbing. It’s even got gut-wrenching liner notes by Malcolm X (no relation to Geza). Go for it.

White Trash Wake Up EP

Another classic. A five-song thrasher that’s delivered like a one-two punch. The lyrics are good, whether political or just downright ridiculous. Check out “I Hate My Toes” because “they’re dirty, they stink… they’re ugly and pink.” Really hilarious.

YDI Out of Blood cassette

A 15-song tape that isn’t for sale. At times, it reminds me of Fresno’s CAPITOL PUNISHMENT, with its extremely gruff vocals and all-out thrash attack. Unrelenting and excellent, so wait for future releases.

V/A You’ll Hate This Record LP

Sorry, Mykel, but at best (worst) this record is so-so. G.G. ALLIN is good, the FUCK-UPS are the FUCK-UPS, ART is interesting, and the experimental and pop cuts could have been a lot worse. Even the liner notes didn’t incite me to slag. The best part may be the plastic barf on the cover. (Note: half of the material here has already been released.)

V/A Acid Visions LP

A compilation of ’60s Texas punk and psychedelic bands. There’s lots of good stuff here, including some real obscurities like the GREAT BELIEVERS, A-440, the THINGS, etc. If by chance you’ve already picked up Mindrocker vol. 4, then pass this up because there’s only a four-song difference, and the sound quality isn’t as good on this.

V/A Big City: Ain’t Too Pretty EP

Seven NYC bands cram cuts into this 7″er put out by Javi of Big City zine. All are either current, or recently split-up, and all thrash out to the max. The bands include XKI, the BETRAYED, ULTRA VIOLENCE, NO THANKS, the ARMED CITIZENS, FATHEAD SUBURBIA, and SAVAGE CIRCLE.

V/A The Columbus Compilation cassette

Columbus, Indiana, that is. There are four bands here, KILLING CHILDREN being the most proficient and thrashed-out. The others—the PATTERN, ANDROPOV’S ASSASSINS, and studio group COLBY—are definitely on the garage side of life. They have that unmistakable Midwest flair, best exemplified by the PATTERNS’ classic “Burger Palace of Death.”

V/A Out Blow Out cassette

A great collection of San Diego-area bands. Some are current, some are long gone, some are punk, some are thrash, all are raw. The bands include 5051, CATCH 22, BATTALION OF SAINTS, SACRED LIES, the MORAL MAJORITY, the INJECTIONS, the SKULLBUSTERS, etc.

V/A Life Is Beautiful, So Why Not Eat Health Foods? LP

An excellent follow-up to the Life is Ugly… LP. I like all of the punk side, which begins with a great old BAGS cut, and continues with ANTI, SHATTERED FAITH, CHINA WHITE, M.I.A. (not the group on the Last Rites LP), ILL WILL, and a live GERMS track. The B-side contains some experimental stuff by Gary Kail, as well as the B PEOPLE, VOX POP, the MINUTEMEN, and POWERTRIP. Good variation.

The Accursed Aggressive Punk 12″

A very atypical eight-song 12″ with a garage feel. It sounds more like a cassette of a band’s first practice than the standard polished UK product. Medium-tempo punk is the ACCURSED’s stock-in-trade.

The Satellites Nightmare EP

The SATELLITES are sort of PISTOL-like, at best; at worst, they’ve got a weak post-punk sound. This EP isn’t as good as their first, the production by Rat Scabies being one of its few saving graces.

The Skeptix So the Youth LP

I’m surprised to see this mostly British band on a German label, but it’s great to have an album from them. This is strongly delivered thrash with perceptive lyrics and powerful production. Recommended without reservations.