Reviews

MRR #7 • July/August 1983

7 Seconds Committed for Life EP

Another superb 7 SECONDS release. This new EP highlights all of their traditional qualities—raging thrash music, great tunes, intelligent and inspirational lyrics (more personally-oriented this time around)—and adds more guitar power, some new musical twists, and improved production. There’s a very noticeable MINOR THREAT influence in the vocal phrasing, but this is still Skeeno hardcore at its finest.

Abrasive Wheels Jailhouse Rock / Sonic Omen 7″

If this release is representative, the ABRASIVE WHEELS are already in decline. The A-side is a pathetic punky cover version of ELVIS’s old hit; the flip is a pedestrian Britpunk song with a decent chorus. Whatever happened to kickers like “Burn It Down”?

Actives Riot EP

A rich, abrasive guitar onslaught provides an aggressive energy to this debut EP by the ACTIVES. The recording seems a bit muddy here, but two songs in particular (“Riot” and “Out of Control”) suggest that this group can emerge from a standard Britpunk style with catchy, change-of-pace instrumentation. Recommended.

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.

Angst Neil Armstrong 12″

A severely underrated Bay Area band, Angst specializes in intricate rock arrangements buoyed by occasionally hilarious lyrics. Such is the case here—songs like “Neil Armstrong,” “Pig,” and their soon-to-be-classic “Nancy” have a listless dementia about them that allows them to cross the boundaries of art-rock and funnypunk with equal ease. A fine effort, so buy it.

Anthrax Capitalism Is Cannibalism EP

Penny Rimbaud’s distinctive production spices up four new compositions by ANTHRAX on their second EP. “Violence Is Violence” and the title track boast fast tempos and a blistering guitar sound which underline well-taken lyric concerns; the two cuts on the B-side aim for subtler effects, with equal success. This is political punk that’s both unusual and exciting.

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.

Anti-Cimex Raped Ass EP

An exceptional ultra-thrash attack can be found on ANTI-CIMEX’s second EP. The production is much better, and the band is much more cohesive this time around. These songs rank right up there with those of the SHITLICKERS and HUVUDTVÄTT (the HEADCLEANERS) in the Swedish “shred” sweepstakes. A must.

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…”

Articles of Faith Wait EP

This new EP showcases A.O.F.’s musical versatility. “I’ve Got Mine” is a relatively slow CLASH-influenced song with great dynamics and a quasi-psychedelic guitar that sporadically breaks into full-tilt thrash; “Wait” and “Buy This War” are intense, distinctive thrashers with innovative guitar interaction. A big step forward.

Asta Kask För Kung & Fosterland EP

Hardcore meets rock. Quick and melodic thrusts of boisterous energy from Sweden. Powerful harmonies and leads assaulting with raw harsh vocal cracks; foot-tapping insistencies stand triumphant and chanting. An excitable release.

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.

Bastards Järjetön Maailma LP

Finland’s premier kings of total chaotic thrash. Hard-hitting, tight, and explosive fury with a metal edge. Bellicose convulsions of an invincible split-second attack of unrelenting mayhem. Brutal insistence sledgehammers an increasingly assertive charge of aggressive, raucous, rabble-rousing clamor. The BASTARDS’ velocity continues to be extraordinary, and they’re always creating more.

Benedict Arnold and the Traitors No More Heroes or Gods EP

Disappointing. The new B. ARNOLD EP isn’t nearly as appealing as their old “Kill the Hostages” release. Stylistically, these humorous songs range from garage punk (“I Hate Sports”) to ’60s jams (“Hollywood”) to silly ska (“White Boy Sings Ska”), but the biting satire and an innovative cover concept aren’t quite enough to compensate for the lackluster musical attack.

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.

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.

CIA God, Guns, Guts EP

Really powerful thrash with pronounced metallic lead breaks. CIA may not break any new ground, but with this debut they prove themselves to be one of the East Coast’s best new entries. Lyric-wise, “Commie Control” is pretty inane, but the other titles make a lot of sense, which they backed up by playing at the DC “Rock Against Reagan” show.

Crass Yes Sir, I Will LP

This is a profoundly different sort of CRASS album. It counterpoints a thrashy, wild instrumental backdrop with an extensive lyric essay attacking the politics of power, nuclear escalation, organized religion, and especially our sheep-like passivity that allows it all to happen. CRASS apparently feels that their message hasn’t sunken in yet—hence the numbing music and emphasis on words—and they obviously hope that action will replace boredom and endless posing in the contemporary punk scene.

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.

DDT Brave New World EP

I really like this debut release by Atlanta’s DDT. They do two charged thrashers, two deranged post-punk numbers (side two), and an absolutely fabulous ’60s-style psycho-pop song (“Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood”) That reminds me of the early LAST and is vastly better than most of today’s self-conscious neo-psychedelic music.

Deformed Gas Attack! Without Warning!! cassette

Noisy guitar-oriented music from Holland. Most of it falls within the droning post-punk category, but there are also a couple of faster punk-style numbers. Abrasive, but not energetic enough.

Destructors Wild Thing 12″

The A-side here includes slightly modified versions of two songs that appeared on their recent Forces of Law 7″ (reviewed in MRR #6); the flip has three fine new thrashed-out cuts that have that distinctive DESTRUCTORS mix, with its highly exaggerated snare drum and hi-hat. Add a Pus cover and better sound quality, and you end up with a damn good show.

Dicks Kill From the Heart LP

Yahoo! The most remarkable thing about this fine album is that the production is every bit as raunchy as it was on their four-year old debut EP. When you add that extra-grungy edge to the DICKS’ absorbing mid- to fast punk songs, heavily distorted guitar work, and gruff Texas vocals, you’re bound to have a winner. The drunkenness and political commitment come across clearly in the music, but gems like “Bourgeois Fascist Pig” deserve a lyric sheet.

Disrupters Unrehearsed Wrongs LP

Easily more powerful than their first two EPs, Unrehearsed Wrongs contains some fine mid-tempo punk compositions including “Gas the Punx” and a catchy reworking of their classic anti-vivisection song, “Animal Farm.” Some of the tracks seem repetitious, but I enjoyed the poetic changes of pace and the guitar-heavy production. Check this one out.

Effigies We’re Da Machine 12″

This four-track EP doesn’t live up to the EFFIGIES’ standard. The record’s title track has a notable guitar riff, and the thick, heavy metal-punk instrumentation keeps the excitement rolling; the compositions are less distinctive than usual, however. Rambunctious, but not exceptional.

Eighth Route Army Think For Yourself EP

An eclectic mixture of material can be found on this EP—CLASH-type rock with horns and spiffy backing vocals (the title track); snappy punk with clever lyrics about future “punk” politicians (“Vice Presidente”); and a harsh critique of military recruitment set to slower CHELSEA-style material (“Professional Killer”). Multidimensional and thoughtful.

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.

Fallout Criminal World EP

This debut by Italian band FALLOUT consists of three fast ’77-type numbers and three thrashers. The sound is driving, the choruses and tunes stick in your craw, and there are some nifty little lead parts, so check it out. Good effort.

Feederz Jesus EP

A reissue of the provocative FEEDERZ EP with a new picture sleeve. In case you never heard it, it’s got innovative song structures, memorable hooks, and some of the most biting, “subversive” lyrics around. The easily offended should steer clear and stick to the trite and predictable; all others should rush out and buy it.

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.

Icon A.D. Let the Vultures Fly EP

After their exciting debut EP, this effort ranks as a disappointment. Strong female vocals are amply supplemented by a fair song on the A-side (“Say No”), but the two B-sides are dismally produced and sound almost as if the band didn’t care what they were singing about—a lack of commitment that’s fatal here. Maybe next time…

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.

Lama Ajatuksen Loppu / Mun Pelko 7″

The newest (and possibly final) release from LAMA displays a reversion to their pre-thrash sound—powerful mid-tempo punk with a heavy guitar attack. I suspect that it was recorded before their album, but it’d be a super addition to anyone’s collection.

Legal Weapon Your Weapon LP

LEGAL WEAPON’s second album is a workmanlike collection of slow- to mid-tempo punk rock numbers made more enjoyable by fine female lead vocals. Hardly a revelation, it manages to hit the mark with nicely arranged rockers like “What a Scene” and “Equalizer,” and with ballads like “Only Lost for Today.” Some of these songs go on too long, and this release isn’t as evocative as their debut, but I found myself drawn in by the rich, guitar-oriented production and complex arrangements. Maybe you will, too.

Little Gentlemen Suicide Notes EP

Strong ’77-type punk appears to be the LITTLE GENTLEMEN’s stock-in-trade. Side one contains two engaging guitar-heavy numbers with brain-damaged leads (“General Hospital”) or sing-along choruses (“Rant Rant Rant”); the flip has a more experimental number with a scratchy psyched-out guitar laid over a rhythmic bass and drum. Atypical.

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.

Lost Cherrees No Fighting No War No Trouble No More EP

A solid, committed seven-track EP from Surrey’s LOST CHERREES. Female vocals and a basic, well-balanced production complement this varied selection, but the straight-ahead rockers like “Real Crimes” and “Pain Relief” are the most effective of these highly political compositions. A fine debut, even if “No Flag” sounds for all the world like a punk version of “O, Christmas Tree.”

Luddites Strength of Your Cry EP

Though named after a group of 19th-century rebels who went around sabotaging industrial machinery in Britain, these LUDDITES have adopted a quasi-industrial post-punk approach in their music. Herein one can find measured tension, a heavy bass, interesting drum flourishes, and a somber overall attitude.

Major Accident Fight to Win / Freedom 7″

A severe early CLASH influence, right down to the Joe Strummer vocals, mars the offerings on this band’s second 45. The better of the two tracks is “Fight to Win,” an unadventurous ’77-style punk number with a fair melody and uninvolving background choruses. This kind of thing has been down better elsewhere.

Mau Maus Facts of War EP

The MAU MAUS provide a strong argument in favor of the benefits of speed in modern punk music. They have fairly typical chord progressions, generic themes, and a rather annoying vocalist, but somehow the frenzied tempo compensates by keeping your arms and legs flailing about. “Facts of War” is a killer track.

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.

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.

Michael Moorcock’s Deep Fix Dodgem Dude / Star Cruiser 7″

Can old hippies still produce good music? MICHAEL MOORCOCK proves that they can rise to the occasion with “Dodgem Dude,” a wonderful psychedelic blast with loud guitars and haunting background vocals. A really excellent cut, not equalled by the flip. Flicknife is an innovative little label.

Misguided Options EP

The new MISGUIDED EP is louder and more powerful than their debut, but the off-kilter drumming tends to interrupt the momentum of these somewhat disjointed thrashers (especially “Defy Standards”). Mixing problems are involved, though a spirited amateruish quality characterizes the entire record. “Blacklist” has lyrics of considerable contemporary relevance.

Modern Industry Man in Black EP

Two songs in a fast, powerful thrash style (seemingly augmented by an organ), and two in a slower yet engaging style. Some of the lyrics are incomprehensible, even after reading them, and their live shows leave a lot to be desired, but this record is good.

Olho Seco Botas, Fuzis, Capacetes EP

More great thrash from OLHO SECO. The high end of the mix is less piercing here than on the Grito Suburbano album; the guitar on “Muito Obrigado” suffers a bit for it, but the other two tracks blast along like a speeding bullet train. Hot!

Pagans Pagans LP

A reprise performance by one of the great ’77-era American punk bands, Cleveland’s PAGANS. At first, I was put off by the “Recorded Live Spring 1983” sticker on the cover, because a lot of their recent material has had an unappealing arty quality. But although there are some covers like “Seventh Son” and relatively subdued numbers (“Angela,” “Wall of Shame”) here, it also contains several raw garage punk blasts with exceptionally gritty vocals. Tracks like “Give Till It Hurts,” “Cry 815,” “Cleveland Confidential” and the classic “Dead End America” make this limited edition album well worth it, but I wish someone would release some older material from the vaults.

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.

Peggio Punx Disastro Sonoro EP

Mutated thrash from Italy. PEGGIO PUNX play fast and have good choruses, but the most distinctive features of this EP are the clean, undistorted guitars, sudden structural shifts, and an exaggerated drum mix that sounds very bizarre. Unusual but worthwhile.

Rattus Uskonto On Vaara 12″

RATTUS combustion, startling adrenaline speed and hammerhead blows of power. Featuring the new high-velocity rasping vocals of Annikki, RATTUS virtually sweep forth with sharp-edged earloads of riveting force and disorderly rapidity. Brilliant Finnish hardcore, unhesitant and explosive assaults of raw nitro energy.

Razor Blades Hateful Youth cassette

Like Italy’s WRETCHED, Denmark’s RAZOR BLADES play sloppy, spirited thrash. Though their hearts are in the right place, I find this tape hard to listen to. There aren’t any distinctive hooks, and the musical backing is just too undisciplined to generate body-shaking power. They need to develop a bit.

Rebel Truth The Request EP

Nine urgent, powerful punk anthems on this EP, all enriched by elaborate, carefully conceived instrumentation and fine lyrics. The production does seem a trifle muddy, but it hardly restrains the inventive compositions here, which very often combine the pop elements of “classical” punk with thrash energy. Atypical and strongly recommended.

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.

Red London Sten Guns in Sunderland EP

RED LONDON plays older-style melodic punk that sounds better by virtue of its relative rarity today. The guitars have a clean ’60s tone (courtesy of Attila?), but ultimately the material fails to impress itself on your consciousness. Decent lyrics, though.

Red Tide Outta My Way cassette

An album’s worth of blistering political thrash from Canada. Structurally, there’s a lot of imaginative little quirks that serve to break up the tempo, so the high-powered songs don’t all run together. Very tight, very intelligent, and very worthwhile.

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.

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.

Rudimentary Peni Death Church LP

At long last, a RUDIMENTARY PENI album. The band delivers the essence of total imagination into their music, lyrics, and art—complete originality. Fast, creative, and haunting, the fascination continues with this overwhelmingly intense display of lunging vocals, screeching guitars, enticing bass, and roaring drum abrasiveness. Once again, the brilliance that is RUDIMENTARY PENI.

SPK Dekompositiones 12″

SPK, perhaps the preeminent industrial ensemble in the world today, add traditional vocals to this EP of well orchestrated percussive and synthesized noise. It may be more accessible and less affecting than their groundbreaking Leichenschrei album, but it still contains extraordinary music possessed of originality and, yes, genius.

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.

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.

Suicidal Tendencies Suicidal Tendencies LP

Blistering rough-arsed metal thrash! Untamed havoc of shimmering propensity, thrusting wild whines of alarming guitar wails into glass-shattering breakneck speed as chilling vocals by the storming crooner Mike Muir claw forth a devastating attack. SUICIDAL TENDENCIES are a screaming cyclone of sheer power and determination, and this LP shows why they have such a strong following.

Tazers Don’t Classify Me EP

Excellent guitar-oriented rock and roll. This EP contains three well-crafted pop-rock songs with good quasi-’60s hooks (all of side one and “Micro-Wave Mother”) and one faster punkish number which rips heavy cocaine users (“Kola Sketch”). Clever and not easily classifiable, the TAZERS deserve your attention.

Terveet Kädet Terveet Kädet LP

Believe it or not, TK has done it again. Although side two drags a bit (in relative terms), and the vocal and guitar mix isn’t quite as piercing as it was on their peerless Ääretön Joulu EP, this album is exhilarating in its intensity. The distinctive combination of paint-stripping vocals, flailing guitars, and tightly structured blasts of concentrated power lift TK into a realm occupied by a few awesome musical entities like INDIGESTI and DIE KREUZEN. As M. Bowles would say, this is “shredsational,” so buy the fucker immediately.

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.

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 Clitboys We Don’t Play the Game EP

The music on the CLITBOYS’ debut is solid straightforward stop-and-go-thrash, but it’s the lyrics that stand out here. In this era of widespread punk jock attitudes, it takes a lot of guts to belt out songs like “Gay’s OK” and “Slogan Boy,” but this Milwaukee band isn’t afraid to tell it like it is (or should be) and face the consequences. More power to ’em.

The Crewd Gather ‘Round 12″

A fine sounding debut. It’s got the classic SoCal punky thrash sound a lot TSOL and BAD RELIGION, mixing hard attack with pop sensibilities and clean production. They come off better on record than the time I saw live, when they indulged in some retarded sexist banter.

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.

The Enemy Last Rites / Why Not 7″

Despite the silly cover, this is probably the best ENEMY release to date, mainly due to the excellent B-side. “Why Not” is a double-time blast with a distorted guitar backing that leaves the A-side spinning its wheels in the dust.

The Imposters Inside My Head / King of America 7″

“Inside My Head” is an excellent example of ’78-era power-pop, with enough guitar punch to justify the “power” half of the term. It succeeds in generating a bit of misty-eyed nostalgia, but the lame flip features disposable white reggae-rock.

The Joneses Criminals 12″

This new JONESES EP is a 50/50 proposition. Half of it is really lame rockabilly-type swill that seems to be aimed at the STRAY CATS’ trendy audience; the other half consists of raunchy guitar-oriented blasts in the HEARTBREAKERS mold, and it makes it worth hearing. Still, it should have been a 7″.

The Latin Dogs Warning! EP

A fine garage debut from a band out of (relative) nowhere. The LATIN DOGS specialize in chunky ’77-style punk propelled by an abrasive sheet-metal guitar sound, though some cuts have a more accelerated tempo. Their themes are predictably anti-establishment, but the lyrics reflect more awareness and sensitivity than the norm. A-OK.

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.

The Rutto Ei Paluuta EP

A droning Finnish garage punk record. RUTTO’s songs are extremely basic and not too fast, the recording seems to be taken from a portable cassette, and there aren’t any outstanding hooks. The most exceptional thing here is the presence of a female vocalist.

The Subhumans No Wishes, No Prayers LP

Vancouver’s legendary SUBHUMANS deliver their first record in years, but it’s been worth the wait. An aggressive ’77-punk style melds with strong lyrics to create brilliant cuts like “America Commits Suicide” and a very catchy version of “Googolplex”; there’s even a killer cover of MENACE’s “Screwed Up” to satisfy Britpunk enthusiasts. All we can do now is hope that they get back together and tour.

The System Thought Control cassette

Inveighing lyrics highlighted by a raunchy hard-edged guitar sound that whines and grinds. The SYSTEM make a blend of melodies and vivid rhythms that are distinct and vivacious, a raw exhilarating sound similar to ANTHRAX or CRASS, but with a strength all their own. Good enjoyable music.

True West Steps to the Door 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.

TST TST LP

Invigorating thrash, compliments of this three-piece Swedish barrage of chaos. Frantic flailing of whining guitar sledgehammers breakneck speed, an invasion of energetic rhythms with toppling drum mayhem. Another staggering Swedish band that delivers Herculean strength like HUVUDTVÄTT or ANTI-CIMEX.

Unter Den Linden Motstånd I Läder EP

The cover will fool you. Stirring feedback erupts into screeching strikes of unrelenting acceleration. Amazingly fast exertions of detonating disorder from Sweden. Packs all the punches of exuberant split-second nitro blastings, with chaotic guitars wild and frenzied, savage drumming, and vociferous vocal piercings. One of the best international 7″ers out. Thanks to Jerker!

Urban Waste Police Brutality EP

Intense adrenaline blasts with some choppy, discordant lead breaks. URBAN WASTE creates quite a guitar wall-of-sound, and the songs start to click after only a couple of listens. They also deserve to win an award for the funniest and cleverist “sexist” song in ages (“Banana-Nut Cake”). Get it.

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.

V/A Mixed Nuts Don’t Crack LP

An excellent DC compilation which deserves a much wider distribution than it has so far received. It contains diverse material from a number of relatively obscure bands, including garage thrash by MEDIA DISEASE, raw experimental punk by CHALK CIRCLE and the NUCLEAR CRAYONS, powerhouse thrash in a Dischord vein by SOCIAL SUICIDE, NEOS-type 78 rpm thrash by UNITED MUTATION, and garage rock by HATE FROM IGNORANCE. The gritty production accentuates the good music, so look for this.

V/A Thrasher Skate Rock! Cassette

A cool collection of skateboard bands compiled by Thrasher magazine. The pure “skatecore” sound—thrashed-out music with melodic teenage vocals—is represented here by the FACTION, JFA, and the SKOUNDRELZ; LOS OLVIDADOS and Canada’s RIOT .303 offer powerful older-style punk, the former fueled by a truly bone-crunching guitar, the latter by engaging choruses; MINUS ONE have a great ’60s pop approach (especially on “I Remember John”); the BIG BOYS present an awful throwaway “rock” cut; and the DRUNK INJUNS favor slow metallic songs with built-in tension.

V/A Hardcore ’83 LP

The latest compilation from Propaganda varies in quality from cut to cut, but seasoned veterans like RATTUS, VARAUS, and the BASTARDS deliver thrashed-out songs close to their best material. Of the newer artists, the MARIONETTI and TAMPERE SS seem to be the most promising, especially the former’s killer “Turha Armeija.” With 35 tracks by 18 bands, you just can’t lose!

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 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.

V/A Tropical Viruses double cassette

Two 60-minute tapes containing all the previous and soon-to-appear Brazilian vinyl releases. These include the Grito Suburbano LP (now out of print), the Sub LP, the LIXOMANIA EP, the OLHO SECO EP, the upcoming O Começo do Fim do Mundo live compilation LP, and the INOCENTES EP. Anyone who can’t afford to get the individual records should send for this at once. Note: The song order listed on the insert isn’t completely accurate.

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 Chaos in France LP

Chaos Productions presents thirteen bands from France. A multitude of different noises ranging from hardcore to skin chants. Reminiscent of English punk circa 1981, sometimes too similar. Has a lot of power and ambition, but needs more creativity.

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 Posh Hits Vol. 1 LP

A great compilation of tracks from the vaults of Poshboy Records. There are many gems here, but the CIRCLE JERKS’ “Wild in the Streets,” the CROWD’s “Modern Machine,” and TSOL’s “Peace Through Power” rank as highlights in an album that also includes chestnuts by AGENT ORANGE, BLACK FLAG, and UXA. Good variety and quality make this record mandatory if you don’t have the original recordings.

Les Cadavres / Vatican Split 12″

Clean production and sound quality, but the big question is “where is it from?” France, perhaps? LES CADAVRES have a strong style that resembles fast hardcore and the early COCKNEY REJECTS, with its chants, twin guitars, good hard vocals, and an overall good mix. VATICAN is slower and raw, with a driving punch of early punk styles like the SKIDS or GENERATION X. A very interesting effort.

Voodoo Idols We Dig Nixon / Dead Air 7″

Entertaining garage punk from Florida. If “Nixon” is a satire, it’s a good commentary on gross ignorance; if not, these guys must have gotten A’s in the right-wing “Americanism” course that all Florida high school students have to take in order to graduate. “Dead Air” is faster and considerably better.

Waste History Repeats EP

Swirling guitars, spinning fast psychotic grinds of explosive vigor. Enter WASTE from Holland, yet another approach to quick demanding hardcore and punk, completely different than AGENT ORANGE or BGK. WASTE is aggressive; an onslaught of butchering mayhem bolts you to the electric chair with schizoid charges of outrageous fury.

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.

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.

Wretched In Nome Del Loro Potere Tutto è Stato Fatto… EP

The second release by Italy’s WRETCHED. Lightning fast disorder whirlpools completely unrestrained destruction, as wailing guitar bashes and shrilling raw vocals journey the cranium into a bulldozing bombardment of maniacal unhesitant crushing speed. If you’re a fan of the NEOS, TERVEET KÄDET, or DEEP WOUND, feel the colossal quickness of the WRETCHED.

Xtract Blame It on the Youth EP

Standard mid-tempo UK punk. There aren’t any real surprises here, but the title track has a catchy chorus and “Boys in Blue” has a wee bit of drive. OK, but nothing to write home about.

Youth Brigade Sound and Fury LP

The re-release of this LP, since the Stern brothers weren’t too happy with the first and were determined to put out a true quality product. Features only four songs off the first, and when these guys do something right, they go all out! This totally enjoyable slice of black vinyl is perhaps one of the best records money can buy. Lots of diversified touches, variations, and good harmonies from punk rap to hardcore speed and energy, which has all the melodies rumbling in your head. When you get bored of the rest, this performance will still reside on your turntable.