Minutemen 3-Way Tie (For Last) LP

This is the most blatant, consciously political effort yet by the MINUTEMEN. From the painting on the cover to their choice of covers (CCR’s “Have You Ever Seen the Rain”), they attack war, Central American repression, and political apathy—and all the while still pumping out, fast and furious, the thrash/pop/jazz/rock sound they’ve honed to an edge.

Minutemen Project: Mersh 12″

A semi-serious stab at making hit records. So once you get past the shock at hearing horns, guitar breaks, and longer songs on a MINUTEMEN record you discover that they’re writing incredible songs. “King of the Hill” is the centerpiece with a full, complex structure and lyrics that bring politics onto a more personal level. Also a nice mantra-like psychedelic feel to “Tour Spiel, Part 2.”

Minutemen Tour-Spiel EP

The MINUTEMEN are a superb live band, but the undistinguished recording values here detract from some fine songs performed with finesse. “The Red and the Black” is hot, though I’d prefer to hear an ace production of this outfit instead of the one we have here.

Minutemen Tour-Spiel EP

This one is pretty simple. Boon and the boys cut loose in the studio with four covers recorded “live” in front of maybe 15 people. These are the songs that floated in and out of their set on their last tour. You get so-so versions of VAN HALEN and BLUE ÖYSTER CULT, but real good versions of CCR’s “Green River” and the MEAT PUPPETS’ “Lost.”

Minutemen Double Nickels on the Dime 2xLP

The MINUTEMEN have packed 45 of their minimal, funk-punky songs onto this very satisfying twin album. Most of the compositions here rate from fair to very good, and utilize some combination of melody, guitar riff, or interesting lyric twist to sustain the listener’s interest. The seven or eight really excellent numbers live up to the MINUTEMEN’s best standards—”Corona” and “My Heart and the Real World” have superb melodies, while cuts like “Nothing Indeed” employ the typical MINUTEMEN formulae very well.

Minutemen The Politics of Time LP

Although dodgy sound quality mars some of the tracks on the MINUTEMEN’s latest opus, this retrospective album offers a variety of unreleased studio and live compositions (including gems like “I Shook Hands” and “Base King”). Not all of the songs here exploit this band’s unique punk-funk stylings, but their fans will find interesting moments among these twenty-seven tracks.

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.

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.