Reissue of the Week: Conflict


September 24th, 2015 by

CONFLICT – “Last Hour” LP
If there were any justice in this world, punks would think Tucson, Arizona, not London, England, when they heard the name CONFLICT. The superior American band released a demo tape and a single LP in the early ’80s and the record gets the reissue treatment here, complete with a deluxe 40-page booklet. This is absolutely essential for all fans of classic USHC—think the thrash of early TSOL with intelligible MacKaye-esque vocals overtop, except now Ian’s called Karen and she’s a queer Japanese-American woman singing about things a hell of a lot more important and interesting than straightedge and post-adolescent disaffection. Not that there’s anything wrong with anthems about being merely out of step—some of the greatest punk songs ever written are about nothing more than that!—but at a time when being a hardcore band in the United States meant being anti-Reagan and anti-establishment seemingly by default, the political specificity of Karen’s vitriol must have been refreshing. She wrote lyrics about human trafficking, nuclear war, femicide, and her lived experiences as a psychiatric nurse, a woman, and a minority, always direct and never preachy. The flyer reproductions in the enclosed glossy booklet reveal that CONFLICT played with everybody who came through Tucson—BLACK FLAG, HÜSKER DÜ, DIE KREUZEN, DEAD KENNEDYS, MINOR THREAT, DOA, CRUCIFUCKS, MEAT PUPPETS, the GUN CLUB, and TOXIC REASONS, to name just a few. This group should be a household name like the rest of them, but as we all know, history is rarely just. Also reproduced are two interviews with the group from the archives of the greatest punk fanzine on the planet (ahem), one done in their heyday and the other ten years after their dissolution, conducted by the late great Lance Hahn. Comes with a lyric sheet and photo insert. Get it. (GA)

(Puke N Vomit)

 

 

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