Artistic Decline


Artistic Decline Random Violence LP reissue

German label No Plan digs up an interesting relic from the fringes of hardcore history with their reissue of ARTISTIC DECLINE’s lone 1987 LP. This is a sprawling, all-over-the-place record that ranges from artsy post-punk to sharp SoCal hardcore, with noisy bits and goofy KBD-esque numbers mixed in for good measure. The songs are a real mixed bag, and it’s all pretty solid. “One Shot” would go great on a mix tape between the NUBS’ “Job” and “Dad I’m In Jail” by WAS (NOT WAS). They remind me of HC pioneers MIDDLE CLASS on the speedy “Media Lies,” and I might not notice if someone slipped “Hinkley and the Law” in while spinning the first BAD RELIGION LP. You get 29 tracks including some bonus material, all wrapped up in a sleeve with the LP’s original Pettibon artwork.

Artistic Decline Four Song EP reissue

I’ve got a soft spot in my heart for bands like ARTISTIC DECLINE. They emerged onto a crowded Southern California field and were too quirky to fit snugly into one of the many micro-scenes that dotted the punk landscape. Moody and tuneful and snide, ARTISTIC DECLINE surfed the same waves as SIMPLETONES, GEARS, and SECRET HATE. “Andy Warhol” is my pick hit, but out of the four songs here, the only semi-duff cut is the closing “Private Shack,” where the slower tempo doesn’t do them any favors. Still, a minor classic reborn, and here’s hoping their Random Violence LP gets the same treatment sooner than later.

Artistic Decline Random Violence LP

I didn’t think this’d ever come out as it was recorded quite a while back, but ran into all-too-typical indie problems. This LP encompasses a whole range of HC styles, none handled generically. Very good L.A. modern punk, so I hope we get to see them live now, too.