Reviews

MRR #9 • October/November 1983

Actifed Dawn of a Legion 12″

Superior guitar-oriented post-punk with psychedelic overtones, sort of like the SCREAMING DEAD’s newer material (but not quite as good). This is really powerful stuff, and the eerie guitar effects add an additional touch of class. The vocals are a bit too restrained and calculating, but ACTIFED are also quite capable of cutting loose when they want to (as in “Exit”). Produced by ex-GEN Xer Tony James.

Arkansaw Man Every Job/Mark Twain 7″

Good production and fascinating song structures distinguish this new release by ARKANSAW MAN. Post-punk influences are softened by lively tempos and the addition of a brass section, and there’s certainly more than enough originality on this record to make it a solid contender.

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!

Biohazard Social Menace cassette

A bunch of 13- and 14-year-olds, bored with the beauty of the Monterey peninsula, crank out some primitive, amateurish thrash. The production on this homemade tape is so bad that it’s hard to decipher the songs, but there’s plenty of compensatory youthful spunk. For fans of recording in a breadbox.

Capitol Punishment Two-Party System EP

CAPITOL PUNISHMENT finally raised enough money to put out an EP, and it’s well worth the wait. Musically, there’s three strong thrashers and one slow, measured mood piece (“Jody Is My Bloody Love”), all distinguished by Ralph’s amazingly raspy singing; the lyrics alternate between personal introspection (“Wrong Direction”) and the kind of straightforward political critiques that invariably drive the apolitical wimps into a frenzy. Hooray!

Cause for Alarm Parasite EP

Blistering thrash with positive, idealistic lyrics. This is one of the best new bands I’ve heard since DRI. CAUSE FOR ALARM have the type of intense, committed attack that leaps out of the speakers and slaps you in the face to get your attention; then they get you thinking. You can’t expect any more from a punk band, so don’t ignore this EP.

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?

Convicted Can’t Stand Me EP

This is a raw ’77-style punk EP characterized by teenage vocals and an overall naive quality. At first, it seems laughably amateur, but after awhile, it really begins to grow on you, especially the cool title song. I like it, but listen for yourself.

Crude SS Crude SS Demo Cassette

Throngs of grinding guitar intensity, distinctive disorderly grates echoing subcutaneous rips of emergent power. CRUDE SS defiantly blaze impetuous rawness, a sonic inferno of chaotic crunchers bolting forth storming drum booms and menacing guttural vocals. A brutal untamed force, unrestrained outrageous wailings of frantic guitar cavortion highlight this fierce arrangement that exhilarates to the maximum with a strong character of stimulating popularity. From Sweden this is rapidly delicious.

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.

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.

Destructors Armageddon in Action LP

By now, everyone should be aware that the DESTRUCTORS generally combine thrash speed with some metallic twin guitar action. Their new album features live versions of many of their earlier hits and, unlike most live efforts, is actually more hard-hitting than some of their studio releases. It’s too bad they disbanded, but at least they’ve gone out with something of a bang instead of a whimper.

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.

Discharge Warning: Her Majesty’s Government Can Seriously Damage Your Health 12″

More 24-track mundanity from DISCHARGE. They’re getting slower and more metallish these days; “Anger Burning” is hardly more than a standard rock song. It’s OK for a band to change styles, but why follow the same boring route that so many others select? Give me DISORDER any day.

DOA Right to Be Wild 7″

The proceeds from the sale of this 45 are going into the Vancouver Five’s defense fund, so that’s enough reason to buy it. Still, it’s a mixed bag musically. “Burn It Down” is a slow, boring rock song that I prefer to ignore, but their version of the SUBHUMANS’ “Fuck You” (written by Hannah, one of the Five) has spunk and power, which makes this a worthwhile audio investment.

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.

Freshly Riots Delightfully Fresh EP

Well, Yrsa’s going to be irritated again, but I think this EP is exceptionally cool. It’s a fine example of fast ’60s garage psychedelia with that distinctive squeaky organ and a modern punk guitar attack. Like their countrymen the GATECRASHERS, FRESHLY RIOTS successfully evokes the rawest and most chaotic elements of the mid-’60s. Fuckin’ A!

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.

Hüsker Dü Metal Circus 12″

Damn, those HÜSKERS sure can play! Their new EP elevates the musical brilliance of their last album to dizzying new heights. Not only are these songs loud, powerful, and creative, but Bob manages to produce the most extraordinary guitar sound—it actually shimmers. Buy this and keep yourself entertained for months.

Headcleaners The Infection Grows EP

Although the production here isn’t as guitar-heavy as it was on their Disinfection EP, this is another stellar HEADCLEANERS (HUVUDTVÄTT) release. They play thrash that’s manic and brash, but also very catchy and full of weird, searing guitar parts. “No Sense” is awesome.

Herbärds Eu! Se Bois LP

It’s a bit alienating for a woman to review an album pronounced “Oi! The Boys,” and it doesn’t help that I can’t decipher the lyrics. Musically, the HERBÄRDS have a sound derivative of British Oi. Most of it is rather unexceptional, but “BMW” and “Schweinbach” are rousing tracks. Listen before buying.

Inocentes Miséria e Fome EP

The INOCENTES present brutal ’77 punk on the A-side of their first solo effort, while the flip contains three very powerful thrashers. All the cuts feature a roaring instrumental attack, and “Apeñas…” also contains some quick bursts of searing lead guitar. Excellent.

Iron Cross Hated and Proud EP

This new IRON CROSS EP represents a step forward for the band. For one thing, the lyrics are vastly better, especially in “Wolf Pack,” where a stand is taken against mindless violence. For another, the songwriting is more developed. Finally, the production is much improved from a technical standpoint, though I personally prefer the gravelly guitar sound on their debut. “You’re a Rebel” is an amazingly catchy Oi chant.

Jason Didit Sell Me Some Beer / You’re Bringing Me Down 7″

This geek probably wishes he could be David Lee Roth, but he ends up sounding more like GG ALLIN due to sheer ineptitude. “Beer” is dumb old American garage punk , which is somewhat marred by a tacky synth solo; the rock ’n’ roll flip is too horrible to contemplate for more than two seconds.

Klischee Normalzustand LP

This German release dates from ’81 and mainly features ’77-style medium-to-fast-tempo punk. However, it also has elements of post-punk (“Heil Satan”), reggae (“Verboten”), garage rock (“Ersatz”), and funny commercial intros (“In der Nacht”). It’s well produced, engaging, and—in all seriousness—lots of fun. We’d like to hear more.

Living Proof Getting in the Groove / Oh No 7″

’60s-influenced garage punkedelia from Canada. “Getting in the Groove” has that ’68 sound, with its raw, distorted guitars and arching vocals; “Oh No” is slower, “heavier,” and more rock ’n’ rolly, but features a terrific psychedelic lead break. A hip debut with a handmade cover.

Love Circus Mary Go Around 7″

This is weird but ultimately unsatisfying. The A-side consists of a medley of old soul songs done in a neo-psychedelic style, but these LOVE CIRCUS versions pale before the great originals (“My Girl,” “Car Wash,” and “Sex Machine”). The flip, which starts out slow and druggy, then snaps into a jangly overdrive, is considerably better.

Marching Plague Rock’n’Roll Asshole EP

A fuzzed-out bass and guitar are the musical hallmarks here, along with real echoey drumming. These guys unfortunately seem to have it in for hippies, who are the targets of three of the five songs on this EP, including a retarded racist diatribe against Yoko Ono (“Oh No”). Pathetic in the thematic department.

Minutemen Buzz or Howl Under the Influence of Heat 12″

As most of our readers already know, the MINUTEMEN have a very innovative sound that combines funk, jazziness, and disjointed semi-thrash. On this new EP, they add some atmospheric psychedelic guitar and other forms of weirdness. I like some of it a lot, especially “Cut,” but most of it is too experimental for my tastes.

Moral Majority Dance Band Little Bit EP

The MORAL MAJORITY DANCE BAND present raunchy slow-to-mid-tempo garage punk on their debut EP. The vocalist sounds demented, the production is nice and raw, and the lyrics to the title song are very provocative: “There’s a little bit of a Nazi / In all of us.” Unfortunately, that’s all too true, in the sense that everyone has occasional attacks of righteous intolerance. A pretty damn good record.

Naked Raygun Basement Screams 12″

The long-awaited NAKED RAYGUN EP has finally been released, and musically it’s a beauty. The songwriting is extremely imaginative, the vocals are unbelievably catchy, and the unique fuzzed-out guitar work sounds wonderful. The only problems here are one klunky track (“Swingo”) and some suspect lyrics in “Tojo.”

Nihilistics Nihilistics LP

Even though I don’t always agree with their opinions, the NIHILISTICS provide more food for thought than 90% of today’s hardcore bands. And their music is as brutal, uncompromising, and cacophonous as their lyrical assault. This great album is jam-packed with raw, intense blasts of a furor borne of futility. It certainly doesn’t make for easy listening, but it rivets your attention and makes for provocative listening, which is ultimately a hell of a lot more important. A mandatory purchase.

Noncens Society EP

NONCENS offer a relatively full spectrum of punk styles, ranging from a ’77ish approach (the title song) to blistering thrash (“Istid,” “Don’t Give Up,” etc.) to slower contemporary Britskunk (“Afghanistan”). It’s pretty uneven in terms of quality, but it does have its shining moments (“Nattsvart,” for example).

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.

Porcelain Forehead Right Now! The World Needs a Clear Head EP

Genuine garage punk from north of the US border. Most of it is basic, raunchy, and medium in terms of tempo, though there are also spurts of thrash (in “How High?” and “Gleaning Ground”) and some rather disjointed pieces (“Q”). The lyrics are critical, and you can even hear a famous religious retard’s voice at the beginning of “That Number Again, Folks.”

Powerage World War III? / Vengeance of Youth 7″

Another release from South Africa! Like their fellow citizens RIOT SQUAD, POWER AGE plays mid-tempo older-style punk rock. They have a real chunky, bass-heavy attack and snarling vocals, but the most unusual thing about them is their appearance in the land controlled by the super-secret neo-fascist Broederbond.

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.

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.”

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.

Screaming Dead Night Creatures 12″

A brilliant mixture of modern punk and psychedelia. Despite SCREAMING DEAD’s trendy horror rock trappings, they manage to deliver highly distinctive songs with clever arrangements, strong hooks, and plenty of overall power. The frequent inclusion of mind-expanding organ runs adds personality, and the guitar playing is extraordinarily fine. One of this issue’s best.

Serious Drinking The Revolution Starts at Closing Time LP

Although this here album resides spiritually in the glorious British funnypunk tradition (which includes such diverse luminaries as the ALBERTOS, JILTED JOHN, the TV PERSONALITIES, JOHN COOPER CLARKE, the NOTSENSIBLES, the GONADS, JOHNNY MOPED, etc.), it’s more in the goofy ska vein from a musical standpoint. There’s too little raucous punkish stuff to appeal to the bash brigade, but anyone with a bemused sense of the ironic should enjoy SERIOUS DRINKING’s understated English wit.

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.

Slime Alle Gegen Alle LP

The mid-to-fast-tempo punks on this, SLIME’s third album to date, range from melodic ’77ish material with catchy choruses to hardcore thrash. Most of it is quite good, but I particularly enjoyed the title track and “Junge Junge” (a cover of BUDDY HOLLY’s “Oh Boy”). As you might have expected, it’s another superior release from SLIME.

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).

Subhumans Time Flies… But Aeroplanes Crash 12″

It shouldn’t be necessary to describe the UK SUBHUMANS’ basic approach. Once again, their combination of semi-thrash tempos, peculiar guitar embellishments, and radical lyrics hits home, and in a 12″ format, the production accentuates their power. There’s a couple of turkeys on this record, but the roaring “Get Out of My Way” and the psychedelic “People Are Scared” really stand out; “I Don’t Wanna Die” is an OK Yank-style thrasher.

Tampere SS Sotaa EP

I don’t understand why reputed anti-Nazis would adopt a name with SS in it, but TAMPERE SS’s EP lives up to the high expectations generated by their choice cuts on the Propaganda ’83 compilation album. The band members have DISORDER and CHAOS UK logos on their jackets, so you can easily surmise that they produce raging thrash in the respected Finnish tradition, except for an occasional slow number like “Taisteluhymai.”

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.

The Gymslips Rocking with the Renees LP

This British all-girl trio emerges from relative obscurity with a delightful album of hard pop reminiscent of early GIRLS AT OUR BEST. Songs like “Drunk Problem” and “Barbara Cartland” counterbalance a gutsy guitar sound with irresistible melodies, but even ballads like “Thinking of You” connect with a vengeance. Comes with a free four-track EP.

The Leather Nun Primemover / FFA 7″

The newest 7″ from Sweden’s LEATHER NUN features two compositions mining an atmospheric post-punk vein. “Primemover” uses a basic metal riff to underline restrained, understated vocals, while the flip maintains a slower tempo and showcases more demented lyrics. No revelations here.

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.

The Oppressed Never Say Die EP

Despite the ponderous tempos and predictably narrow Oi themes, this release rises above the vast majority of its Oi-boy contemporaries by virtue of an exceptionally primitive guitar sound. “Run from You” is especially raw and appealing, except for the dumb lyrics.

The Outcasts Nowhere Left to Run 12″

At first, I couldn’t believe that this beautiful dance-oriented post-punk music was even produced by the OUTCASTS. However, once I got over the initial shock, I began to enjoy it tremendously. All three versions of the title song feature a hypnotic rhythm, extraordinarily evocative guitar frills, and a haunting overall effect heightened by chimes. The punked-out version of KENNY ROGERS’ “Ruby” is more pedestrian.

The Proletariat Soma Holiday LP

A lot of Boston bands sound great, but few—if any—have the political sophistication displayed by the PROLETARIAT on their debut album. I would liken them to the early GANG OF FOUR, both musically and ideologically, though the comparison shouldn’t be overdrawn. They create equally complex structures, but they replace GANG OF FOUR’s sparseness with a full-bodied sound and punky guitar power. In fact, they’ve mixed several straightforward punk blasts (like “Torn Curtain”) in with the other stuff. A fabulous record that renews my faith in Bosstown.

The Score Private Ideas LP

This self-produced debut album is a 50/50 proposition. Half of it consists of adolescent punky pop with a bit (like “Do to Me” and “Lady on the Radio”); the rest is made up of wimpier stuff, including ballads (“Something for a Friend”) and awful commercial rock (“Every Love Song Ever Written”). I sort of appreciate the SCORE’s blatant amateurishness and naïveté, but I’m not sure if you will.

The Skeptix Peace Force EP

Well, the SKEPTIX seem to have found a label in their own country, and this new release again displays their tasty thrash attack. “Born to Lose” is slow and metallic, but the others zip forward and feature some nice lead fills. Their level of sincerity remains impossible to discern, but I have my doubts.

The Verge Habitual EP

This is an example of creative guitar-oriented post-punk with real drive. It’s forceful and engaging in its own right, and it marks a welcome change from today’s standard punk formats. ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN should sound so good. Recommended.

Toy Dolls Dig That Groove, Baby LP

The high-velocity insanity of this debut album by the TOY DOLLS brings to mind the work of great funnypunk bands like the DICKIES and the NOTSENSIBLES. Virtuoso guitar work, unforgettable melodies, and patently hilarious lyrics raise Dig That Groove, Baby to instant classic status, especially clever ditties like “Spiders in the Dressing Room,” the title track, and “Glenda and the Test Tube Baby.” Spirited and (s)punky.

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.

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.

Ultimo Resorte Cementerio Caliente EP

This is the most contemporary sounding release that we received from Spain. ULTIMO RESORTE blast out raw thrash with a garagy sensibility and rough female vocals, along with an occasional post-punky number (“Johnny Mofeta”). “Cementerio Caliente,” with its irresistible “Hey, Ho” chorus, is especially hot. Recommended.

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.

V/A Bollox to the Gonads – Here’s the Testicles LP

The Pax label is doing some valuable work with the best of intentions. They’ve gone international on this, the follow-up to their Punk Dead? Nah Mate compilation. This time around, they include four uropean, eight English, and one American band (SAVAGE CIRCLE). Most of them are real strong, but CRUDE SS (Sweden), PSA (Italy), ANTI SYSTEM (UK), and the MAU MAUS (UK) really tear it up. There’s a total of thirty tracks, so don’t miss it.

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 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.

V/A Grevious Musical Harm cassette

39 ferocious tracks of initiative and unlimited distinction. A delicious meal that needs no silverware to swallow this spectacular cranium-crunching ensemble of unrestrained activity. Featuring bands the globe over… Australia, South Africa, Italy, France, Sweden, Poland, Denmark, Germany, UK, USA, and more with batter-ram assaults by POISON IDEA, RAZAR BLADES, UPRIGHT CITIZENS, POWERAGE, DESTRUCTORS, 5° BRACCIO, and the intensity continues. Pick this one up quick.

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 Punk Que? Punk LP

A Spanish compilation album that mainly features the better-known, commercially oriented punk bands, according to our sources. Old-fashioned ’77 punk rules supreme here; the best examples of this genre are songs by KGB (“Maroto”—dig that ROTTEN-esque sneer!), URGENTE (the first half of “Dispuestos a Matar”), NO (“Chalado”), and the ESPASMODICOS (“1943”), whose singer sounds rather like Biafra. N.634’s thrashers provide the only evidence of a transition to musical modernity. Still, it’s a good sampler from another corner of the world.

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.

V/A Ultra Hardcore Power LP

The title is stupid, but the music is definitely worthwhile. This album demonstrates that Germany has several ripe thrash bands, though it’s not quite up to the standard of Waterkant Hits. Here the NORMAHL offer slower, less distinctive songs; the HERBÄRDS do some funny Oi tunes; and INFERNO, CHAOS Z, and BLUTTAT produce some ripping thrash. A good value.

Venom Die Hard / Acid Queen 7″

Anyone who promotes this hokey, moronic heavy metal shit has no fucking business criticizing any punk bands for their supposed “6th-grade naïveté.” Know what I mean? The sad part is that these assholes have more energy than a lot of current British punk groups.

Vulpess Me Gusta Ser Una Zorra / Inkisicion 7″

A fine example of raw ’77 stuff with dense, growling guitars and female vocals. The A-side is a take-off on the STOOGES’ “I Wanna Be Your Dog,” and it’s modified title—“I Wanna Be a Prostitute”—and iconoclastic lyrics apparently cause quite a stir among conservative Catholics in Spain. Musically speaking, I find the original composition on the flipside even more appealing.

Violation / Zero Mentality Maine HC cassette

Two bands with pervious tapes of their own team up to share this one. VIOLATION offers standard thrash, rather thinly produced; ZERO MENTALITY stands out more, thanks to better production, more imaginative arrangements, and a great bass player. Definitely worth the investment.