MRR #8 • September 1983

17 Pygmies Hatikva 12″

This group is akin to other Independent Projects bands, in that they’re rhythmic, stylized, moody, and very hard to pin down. Side two is a little too sweet for my taste, but side one has a great rendition of “Lawrence of Arabia.” Wonderful soundtrack music.

Action Pact London Bouncers 12″

Powerhouse drumming is the only thing going for this Oi-punk release. ACTION PACT’s style changes so little from song to song that this four-track sounds like a retread of old material, except with plodding tempos and even a sax section on the title track. Boring.

Anti-Establishment Anti Men / Misunderstood 7″

The A-side has feedback and a bit more spunk than their last offering, but its catchy riff could benefit from even more oomph. “Rock” vocals and banal themes mar the measured flip. This band never quite lived up to their potential.

Armed Citizens Make Sense EP

One side of this is thrash, the other is a bit slower, but all of the songs have good qualities. “We Want the Money,” the title cut, and “On My Own” are especially strong. This EP isn’t any great production, yet there’s definitely something about it that stands out.

Attak Zombies LP

This record is better than a lot of the LPs being produced by the most recent generations of British punk bands. The guitar-enhancing production here is up to the usual UK standard, but these guys have more energy than most of their plodding contemporaries. On the other hand, the lyrics aren’t too interesting.

Avengers Avengers LP

From 1977-79, the AVENGERS were the quintessential SF punk band. Fronted by the electrifying Penelope Houston and powered by Greg Ingraham’s amazing guitar playing, they were far ahead of their time and, like many others in that situation, unable to stay together. Finally, this 14-song memento has been released for those poor unfortunates who never saw them live in their heyday, never got their first 7″ EP (included here), and/or never got their 12″ EP (alternative versions included here). Other tracks include unreleased studio outtakes and an incredible live version of “Fuck You” that totally destroys. A must.

Bad Brains Rock for Light LP

The tracks on this album exemplify the BAD BRAINS’ unique blend of reggae and metal-embellished hardcore. Ric Ocasek’s excellent production works especially well on the thrashers by underlining some of their complex arrangements and superb musicianship, and even though a fair proportion of this material has been released previously, it’s difficult to ignore memorable blasts like “Fearless Vampire Killers” and “How Low Can a Punk Get?” Solid and powerful.

Black Market Baby Senseless Offerings LP

This is sort of a mixed bag. Some of the songs here exhibit the worst elements of heavy metal, whereas other cuts (“Fight for Your Life,” the title track, and “World at War”) are clear-cut, well-designed punk jams like those of YOUTH BRIGADE and TOXIC REASONS. Most of it is pretty good.

Blitzkrieg Sound Ltd EP

Mono-dimensional but well-produced German punk. BLITZKRIEG favors a basic mid-tempo attack with some join-in background vocals and a female lead singer, but the amateurish drumming puts a bit of a damper on the proceedings. “Auschwitz” has well-taken lyrics criticizing popular inertia in the face of genocidal horrors.

Boskops Sol 12 LP

An extremely likable thrash album from Germany that’s well-produced, powerful, and full of great hooks. At times, the wall-of-guitar sound reminds me of DISCHARGE or CHAOS UK. There are some slow songs, but most of them really rip.

Canalterror Zu Spät LP

CANALTERROR produce diverse hardcore material on their debut album, including full-tilt thrash (“Multis,” the title cut, etc.), Oi-influenced stuff (“Bonn-Duell”), ’77 punk with melodic guitars (“100 Mann”), reggae-punk mixtures (“Mallorca”), some cool rock n’ roll (“Hey”), and even a funnypunk version of “My Bonnie.” The guitars should have been emphasized more in the mix, but this record is still entertaining as hell.

Chaotic Dischord Fuck Religion, Fuck Politics, Fuck the Lot of You! LP

Enough is enough! Entertaining scams soon run out of mileage when people see through them and the perpetrators make no effort to compensate by producing something of real value. Such is the case with CHAOTIC DISCHORD, who’d dearly love to get rich off satirizing thrash. The music is hot but unoriginal, and the themes are in the idiotic ANTI-NOWHERE LEAGUE vein. I say stuff these jokers along with Beki.

Circle Seven Suburban Hope 12″

Clever modern rock with some post-punk elements. Tasteful and distinctive twin guitars combine with a fluid bass and tight percussion to form engaging, tuneful material. CIRCLE SEVEN certainly won’t appeal to the hardest core, but anyone who appreciates groups like the EMBARRASSMENT should enjoy this.

Conflict To a Nation of Animal Lovers EP

CONFLICT return with more CRASS-like pile-driving punk on “Berkshire Cunt,” along with a very heavy anti-vivisection theme throughout this EP. Both are immensely powerful in their own distinct way, and the gruesome pictures should stimulate some animal lovers into action. Not for the faint of heart or weak of ear.

Crass Who Dunnit? 7″

This is more of a novelty record than a punk record per se. The song gets to the core of British life, both thematically and structurally, since it’s in the form of a rousing pub sing-along, but it’s also about looking at ourselves as being responsible for the officials we elect, not just pointing the finger at them later. CRASS may be serious, but here they display their anger in a humorous format. Americans may find it a bit inaccessible, but if you know that “#10″ is the residence of the Prime Minister and the “Birds” is akin to Jello, you should get the point and have a laugh besides.

D.I. Richard Hung Himself 12″

D.I. have well-executed, concise songs with interesting but not necessarily innovative arrangements. There are a lot of obvious influences here—FLIPPER, ADOLESCENTS, CIRCLE JERKS, MISFITS—but the witty lyrics and good production make it plenty entertaining.

Dead Virgins Four EP

Another tenth-generation punk band from America’s suburban wasteland. The DEAD VIRGINS produce good “classical” punk with a garagey sensibility on the A-side; “Rape Capitol Hill” is particularly appealing. Side AA has slower, rockier cuts, but “Emotional Strain” has a nifty mid-’60s melody line.

Detox Beer Gods / Dino 7″

The debut release by DETOX showcases older-style mid-tempo punk. “Beer Gods” has some unusual embellishments and interesting lyrics, but overall this 45 needs a bit more spark, and doesn’t quite convey their live humor. Geza X helped with the recording.

Disorderly Conduct Slam Dance cassette

Extremely raw and intense thrash from a new New York-area outfit. Unfortunately, the lyrics are on the Quincy-punk level, as in “Slam Dance”: “You fake fuckin’ punker… Get on the floor and take a chance. Just slam, slam, slam, slam dance.” Yeah, right. If the ideas expressed here were even half as appealing as the raging music, these guys might be serious contenders.

DYS Brotherhood LP

A contagious masterpiece. DEPARTMENT OF YOUTH SERVICES ricochet outrageous doses of full horsepower across the cranium. Strong instrumentation provides an invincible attack of intense staggering speed, rawness, and momentum. An unrelenting, sustained guitar growls and whines, as crushing vocals lunge out notes of gnashing abrasive melodies. From Boston, the DYS rate high with the likes of SS DECONTROL and NEGATIVE FX. A shimmering release.

Empty Rituals Dressed to Kill / Hardcore 7″

An excellent guitar-driven post-punk attack. “Dressed” borrows a riff from the STOOGES’ “I Wanna Be Your Dog” and places it in a distinctive new context; “Hardcore” is alternately quirky and forceful. The lyrics in the former are also extremely good. This debut deserves your attention.

Faith No Man Quiet in Heaven / Song of Liberty 7″

Heavy bass- and drum-oriented post-punk with rich guitar frills. “Quiet” inexorably advances like a slow-moving freight train, whereas the flip is more up-tempo and guitar-heavy. Though not as abrasive or reminiscent of KILLING JOKE as their live show, this record is quite good.

Genocides Honey, This Ain’t No Romance / Keep Your Hands Off Me 7″

Both sides have a slight HEARTBREAKERS rock ’n’ roll feel, with punkier drumming and some sharp guitar work. Unfortunately, the lyrics would make Johnny Thunders look like a paragon of enlightenment.

Government Issue Make an Effort EP

I like this new GI EP a lot better than their recent 12″. “Teenager in a Box” is a particularly brilliant track combining power, hooks galore, and good lyrics; “Sheer Terror” has some psychedelic effects; the others are supercharged thrashers in the DC tradition. Highly recommended.

Hose Mobo 12″

Except for one great thrasher, HOSE still ply that unmistakable FLIPPER sound. It’s slow and grinding, with lost of feedback and silliness. The sleeve packaging is novel, and the record itself is hand-etched. A good release.

Ill Repute Oxnard: Land of No Toilets EP

Jeff was blasting this from his room the other day while I was trying to sleep. Next day I asked him what that was, cause it sounded great, even though I should have been pissed. He felt it was pretty generic, so I went back and listened to it. Generic or not, this fucking wails! Guess he needed the sleep!

Instigators Live at Bradford Vaults Bar cassette

Melodic mid-tempo Britpunk. Some of it’s all too typical, but the INSTIGATORS have a nice dense guitar attack and a few notable tunes. “Monkey Man” is a sharp critique of the macho goons who go out looking for trouble at someone else’s expense.

Kommunity FK The Vision and the Voice LP

A variety of influences and moods infuse this unusual effort from KOMMUNITY FK. The mainly slow-to-mid-tempo compositions here feature some experimental intros, BAUHAUS-oriented song structures (though these Angelenos are better), and very stylish vocals. I especially admired the rich, abrasive guitar sound. Fans of the eclectic should find favor with this offbeat release.

Kosili Hadcör Aus Der Provinz cassette

Well, hardcore thrash it’s not! KOSILI play older-style punk that’s quirky and sort of funny-sounding. The lyrics are probably funny too, but they’re in German and Italian so I don’t know for sure. That’s probably to be expected though, because these guys hail from the rarified atmosphere of the Swiss Alps.

Lepers God’s Inhumane EP

A four-songer, much harder and more thrashed-out than their first excellent release. Once again, it’s well done, but also somewhat on the metal side of punk. My favorite cut is “Genius as Thief,” a real bone-cruncher.

Lincoln Street Exit Whatever Happened to Baby Gessus EP

Three songs in the old Texas ’60s psychedelic vein. This could be either a reissue or boot of a vintage group, or a new band with a great sense of history, but it sounds really cool. Musically, it isn’t the frantic punky stuff; it’s more of a DOORS-type sound, organ and all.

Lyres Help You Ann / I Really Want You Right Now 7″

Now this is more like it! After a great debut 45 and a disappointing 12″, the LYRES have returned to top form with “Help You, Ann.” It’s a great ’60s punk-type number with an ultra-cool tremelo guitar; the flip is another nasty cut with one of those endlessly recycled ’60s guitar riffs.

Menstrual Cycles 1/2 Skin, 1/2 Punx EP

This band is based in Florida, but they sound exactly like a British “skunk” group. Normally, that wouldn’t be a cause for celebration, but these guys manage to pull it off by virtue of a fast tempo and an extremely raw, unprofessional sound. Although marred by phony English accents, this is actually better than the standard UK release.

Mornington Crescent Greetings from Amsterdam EP

1000-mph lightning darts. Rapidly flailing unbelievable lashings of tremendous thrash. But wait, bring that all to a screeching halt. The label states 45 RPM, which would make this the wildest vinyl in existence, but it’s actually 33. The music is still manic, uncontrolled fury busting out of the asylum, but the vocals become the rawest, severest case of throat growls and harsh havoc ever. At either speed, this four-song EP leaps forward with hammering rage and ecstatic swiftness, the caged beast unleashed.

Halsabschneider / Nachdruck Laut und Betrunken / National Sport EP

HALSABSCHNEIDER remind me of a sloppier German version of the NEOS. They play 78-rpm garage thrash which stutters along incoherently and with considerable humor (except on the slow “Unser Lied”). NACHDRUCK, on the other hand, have a more controlled ’77-style punk attack with engaging choruses, more serious lyrics, and a occasional post-punk flourish. A good contrast.

Necros Conquest for Death LP

A very strong new release from Ohio’s NECROS. This album contains a few slow-fast metallic numbers; the rest consists of power-charged thrashers, including a remix of “Police Brutality” from their long-out-of-print debut EP. I don’t understand why Barry devoted so much lyrical attention to petty in-scene squabbles when he’s obviously capable of writing highly intelligent critiques with broader themes (like the title track), but this record should nevertheless appeal to all fans of forceful hardcore. Way cool!

Newtown Neurotics Blitzkrieg Bop EP

The NEWTOWN NEUROTICS’ command of melodic ’77-style punk is reconfirmed with this single. They cover the RAMONES’ classic, but add explicitly anti-war lyrics in an effort to increase its salience as ’80s political punk; the change works, though the vocals aren’t as affecting as Joey Ramone’s. On the flipside, they reprise the splendid song from their debut single, “Hypocrite.”

No Tag Can We Get Away With It? LP

Medium-to-fast-tempo punk, with a bit of thrash thrown in for good measure. This live record is well recorded, and the band displays good musicianship, some neat guitar work, and strong vocals. On this record NO TAG succeeds in shedding their previous Oi approach, a change for the better.

No Tag Oi Oi Oi 12″

Copycat Oi from New Zealand. That wouldn’t necessarily be bad, except that NO TAG end up with a glossy, overproduced sound like the 4-SKINS rather than the down-and-dirty growl favored by the likes of IRON CROSS and NABAT. The two cuts on side two far overshadow the band’s theme song.

No Trend Mass Sterilization Caused by Venereal Disease EP

The “No” side contains two maniacally intense blasts in the KILLING JOKE vein; they have a whiny, abrasive guitars, a heavy bass/drum sound, and layers of crazed vocals. The “Trend” side has a musically uninteresting ballad with exceptionally clever and perceptive lyrics. You’ll either love them or hate them; we love them.

OHL Oktoberrevolution 12″

Having lambasted Nazis and neo-fascists on their first two albums, OHL now turn their venom against the Soviet Union. I have no objection whatsoever to anyone attacking documented Soviet repression, but they’ve adopted an extreme right-wing approach worthy of Bavarian minister Strauss by including a sleeve cartoon suggesting that independent peace demonstrators are under Russian control. The remixed punk and thrash songs here sound great, but such ignorance doesn’t deserve support.

The Skeptix / OHL The Kids Are United EP

England’s SKEPTIX and one of Germany’s premier thrashers share this four-track EP. While SKEPTIX’s “Got No Choice” boasts a scorching delivery and good, trebly production, OHL’s “Spionage” ranks as the best song on the record, with its catchy guitar progressions and clever stop-and-go arrangements. The mid-to-fast-tempo hardcore on this release earns a strong recommendation.

One Way System Cum On Feel the Noise / Breakin’ In 7″

I hate to admit it, but the SLADE cover song on the A-side is a surprisingly effective merger of punk and metal-glitter styles, with its wall-of-noise guitar and catchy background vocals. The B-side is an excellent fast Britpunk number which already appeared on the ONE WAY SYSTEM album. Much better than anticipated.

Patriots Land of the Free EP

This new political punk band from Southern California is sort of like a cross between MDC and the HATED. Perceptive lyrics and primitive production add strength to these gruff thrash and punk ditties, but they could use a bit more originality. Still, these are the kind of patriots we need more of.

Pork Dukes Pig Out of Hell LP

Just when you thought they had been sold off as bacon, the PORK DUKES make their grand return to vinyl after a five-year hiatus. Admittedly, their new album suffers from inconsistency, but the DUKES seem to have recovered slightly from their calculated trashiness to connect with some real pop-punk delights here. Rumor has it that this band is actually STEELEYE SPAN incognito, and Jeff Bale detects elements of the SPAN sound in a couple of songs.

Potential Threat What’s So Great, Britain! EP

A very hard-to-find English debut. POTENTIAL THREAT are one of a new generation of British thrash bands that get ridiculed or overlooked by the “established” critics over there. Too bad! Though they’re not as intense as DISORDER or CHAOS UK, this EP contains some solid material and features a female vocalist.

Real Enemy Life with the Enemy cassette

REAL ENEMY combines fairly unusual thrash structures with a distinctive treatment of subject matter, and the result is a very worthwhile debut. Although the music is engaging, the really unique thing about this tape is the thoughtful explanation of some of the songs, an approach other bands could benefit from.

Reflex From Pain Black and White EP

Real fine thrash from New England. It’s high-powered, creative, and fairly intense, but the melodies and semi-sung vocals still manage to escape obliteration. Add a strong production and some memorable hooks, and you end up with a release rivaling those of the LOST GENERATION and CIA in overall quality.

Riistetyt Skitsofrenia 12″

RIISTETYT continues to produce insistent cranks of compelling aggression, an invasion of rapid-fire artillery frenzied in a blizzard of thrash. This time, they come out more musical, glowing with a metal appeal, strong leads, and creative arrangements, but still with the velocity of a speeding train bombarding the tracks in quick pursuit. Another overwhelming blitz of amplified mayhem that shatters the senses and leaves the body spasmodic.

Satans Cheerleaders Created in Your Image cassette

Wicked! A totally ferocious thrash attack, enhanced here by the poor sound quality. Sometimes that special garage quality is a plus, as with SUBURBAN MUTILATION. The lyrics here are also delivered with commitment and intelligence, making this an all-around treat.

Savage Republic Film Noir / O Adonis 7″

More psychedelic exotica from SAVAGE REPUBLIC. “O Adonis” is a Mediterranean-influenced instrumental which lies somewhere between Greek bazouki music and the KALEIDOSCOPE. “Film Noir” is slower and more atmospheric, and combines haunting vocals with similar “oriental” guitar sounds. Unique.

Serious Drinking Hangover EP

Like their first 7″, this new SERIOUS DRINKING release contains a mixture of cool sing-along funnypunk (the title song) and silly quasi-ska ditties. The former is what makes this a worthwhile investment. Eye-catching cover, too.

Sick Pleasure Speed Rules EP

A historical curiosity more than a musical necessity. This band went on to become CODE OF HONOR with the addition of a new singer, and evolved out of the TOOLS and X-ILES. SICK PLEASURE’s vocalist is now in VERBAL ABUSE. The music here is metallic thrash punk that sings the praises of shooting speed, killing parents, and mental breakdowns; the dark side of the SF scene.

Social Distortion Mommy’s Little Monster LP

You’ve got to know by now what SOCIAL DISTORTION sound like—those distinctive vocals, the harmonies, the rockin’ guitars, and melodic hooks galore. Their album is filled with more of the same. Nothing here is too frantic except “The Creeps,” which really blazes forth. There’s precious little exciting punky-pop around these days, but this is one of the rare examples of it.

Soilent Grün Die Fleisch EP

A really unique German record. SOILET GRÜN employ a disconcerting combination of chaotic drive, shrieking vocals, raw production, and an undistorted guitar tone. The songs vary a lot, and the overall effect is vaguely reminiscent of the MEAT PUPPETS.

Stosstrupp Kein Schöner Land EP

The A-side here consists of crude straight-on thrash-and-bash, whereas the flip contains two raw Oi-influenced numbers. STOSSTRUPP have really improved since their appearance on the Die Deutschen Kommen compilation LP, and the screaming guitar mix on this record should be the envy of every hardcore band.

The Adicts Bad Boy / Shake, Rattle, Bang Your Head 7″

“Bad Boy” is an incredibly boring CLASH-type “rock” song which is best ignored; the flip is a much faster pop-punk number with some sparkle to it. I still think the ADICTS are rapidly in decline, but it’s a bit too early to be certain.

The Barracudas House of Kicks 7″

An absolutely stunning EP by the BARRACUDAS, wherein they finally live up to the enormous potential hinted at in “Somebody,” a classic track from their first album. This is brilliant mid-’60s garage rock with elements of ’60s punk (the vocals and fuzz guitar) and folk-rock (the chords and jangly guitar). A must for aficionados of that era’s music.

The Celibate Rifles But Jacques, the Fish? EP

Catchy power-chord progressions, tasteful lead breaks, and extremely clever lyrics set this debut four-track apart from most current British hardcore. “Kent’s Theme” integrates snippets of cigarette jingles with a sharp anti-smoking attack, while “Let’s Get Married” adopts a loose, good-humored quality. An exceedingly winning release from a relatively unknown band. Bravo!

The F.U.’s My America LP

To quote Pushead, the music here “storms out detonating gusts of energetic exertion, wild euphoria flailing in rapid determination waiting to explode.” The lyrics, on the other hand, tread a fine line between obnoxious satire and mindless reaction, and after conducting an interview with them in which they stated “America rules” in all seriousness, adding that immigrants entered the US because they were “too dumb to run their own governments,” it’s all too apparent that theirs is a regressive mentality better suited to fraternity jocks than so-called punks.

The Fleshtones Hexbreaker LP

The FLESHTONES have enormous potential, but they’ve rarely lived up to it since the release of their debut single over five years ago. They either put their great ’60s punk-influenced material aside in favor of R&B and more poppy stuff, or take the raw sneer out of it by settling for a wimpy production. Hexbreaker suffers especially from the latter problem; great tunes like “New Scene” and “Screamin’ Skull” are emasculated by a slick, squeaky-clean sound. C’mon, guys! Kick the IRS lackeys out of the recording studio and do it right next time, or you’ll never break the hex.

The Stalin 虫 LP

This great band from Japan has been putting out records since 1979 (five 7″ers, one 12″ EP, and two LPs), but they’ve somehow escaped notice in the West until now. Their latest picture disc album is amazing, like those of the best Finnish bands. The slower songs are wickedly powerful and tuneful, with great wrenching guitar work, and the more numerous thrashers are awesome. Plus, Japanese production is the best in the world, so order them when Rough Trade begins distributing them.

The System The System Is Murder EP

“Let’s Be Free” leads in with a modified guitar riff from CRISIS’s classic “UK ’79,” and stands out for that very reason. The other tracks are tasteful, mid-tempo punk songs with political lyrics and good melodies. I particularly like their critique of the Special Air Service (S.A.S.), Britain’s rough equivalent of our Green Berets.

The Undead Verbal Abuse / Misfit 7″

Latest from one-time MISFIT Bobby Steele. The line-up on this release is now defunct, as Bobby moved to SF, linked up with Olga of LEWD, and is moving to LA. A-side is pretty powerful punk, of the mid-tempo variety, right up Jack Rabid’s alley. B is even slower.

The Underdogs East of Dachau EP

Melodic Britpunk at its contemporary best. The UNDERDOGS combine a rich, powerful guitar sound with strong tunes and come up with a winner on their debut EP. “Dachau” is a timely reminder that medium-tempo punk songs can grab you when they’re infused with imagination and a slight poppish sensibility; “Dead Soldier” is fast and eminently hummable.

The Varukers Die for Your Government / All Systems Fail 7″

The B-side is the star track here. It has the powerful, thrashed-out VARUKERS we’ve come to expect. They slowed it down on “Die,” which is somewhat disappointing, but it’s still tuneful and well produced. Watch for an upcoming album.

The Velvet Underground Live ’68 LP

A new bootleg-quality release of a vintage VELVET UNDERGROUND performance in Cleveland. The VELVETS are undoubtedly my favorite group of all time, so I can’t be too objective. Suffice it to say that this record contains some real rarities—songs unreleased in any form—and some of Lou Reed’s most manic, dissonant, and nerve-wracking guitar work ever.

Toxoplasma Toxoplasma LP

This is a good basic album. Most of the songs are fast punkers with catchy choruses and a buzzing guitar wall, though there are also thrashers (“Teenage Frust”), songs with slow breaks (“Traumer”), and slower numbers (“Führer”). “Vakuum” sets the musical tone for the remainder of the record, and the lyrics range from broader subject like police states to more immediate, personal topics like teenage frustration. Recommended.

U-Boats Dead and Desperate EP

More garage punk from Florida’s U-BOATS, though this time around the production is better. The lyrics are a little goofy, but the music is very appealing in a real basic sense and the grungy guitar adds a nice touch. I like it.

Unnatural Silence 20 Song Demo cassette

Wild blistering insanity. A whirlwind of pile-driving quickness blasting explosive vocals at a sonic split-second rate; crazed grinding and drum crashing rapidly storms this band into an invading blizzard of frizzling thrash extraordinaire like DRI. Brutal non-hesitant lyrics (especially “Misfits Are Innocent”) keep the nervous system running amuck. This tape is a must.

Upright Citizens Make the Future Mine & Yours LP

One of Germany’s better bands follows their 12″er with another mixture of thrash and punk. All of it is competent, and some of it is especially moving. I love the cut entitled “The End,” which is moody and scary until all hell breaks loose. As the UPRIGHT CITIZENS say, “fuck their wars.”

Uproar And the Lord Said “Let There Be!” LP

Fast punk and thrash that’s well-produced and snappy. The guitars sound great here (as they do on most English recordings), and the songs have that little extra something that makes them memorable. A pretty good album from the UK.

Uproar Rebel Youth EP

Reasonably fast Britskunk that sounds a bit too much like GBH for my taste. Still, the title song is particularly hot, with its great sing-along choruses and classy guitar frills; “No War No More” is almost as good. Likable, but not groundbreaking.

V/A Why Are We Here? EP

The STILLBORN CHRISTIANS, NO LABELS, BLOODMOBILE, and COC contribute about three songs each to this exceptional testimony to the variety and power of the North Carolina hardcore scene. Don’t miss out.

V/A Lung Cookies LP

Originally released as a cassette compilation, Lung Cookies features an impressive collection of bands from all over America expressing a variety of styles. The recording quality varies from cut to cut, with most being quite garagy, but these compositions provide an intriguing view of the domestic underground music with an emphasis on hardcore. The bands include RF7, SACRED ORDER, RED MEAT, the REJECTORS, TEN MINUTE WARNING, and several others.

V/A We Can’t Help It If We’re From Florida EP

Five Florida bands share this record. HATED YOUTH are full of clichés, but have a really intense thrash sound; SECTOR 4 do both thrash and fast punk; MORBID OPERA are simultaneously weird, melodic, and garagy, and have female vocals; RAT CAFETERIA offer thrashy punk with gruff singing and some cool guitar leads; and ROACH MOTEL (who put out this entertaining EP) return with more garage thrash, including “My Dog’s into Anarchy,” the best funnypunk song to have appeared so far this year.

V/A The Master Tape Vol. 2 2xLP

Double-LP, to be exact. Out at last, seemingly a year in the making, it features 19 bands, most from the Midwest, and a few from the East. There’s some great stuff, so so-so stuff, and lost of variety in aggressive, abrasive punk styles. It’ll take too long to run down who does what, but you’ll undoubtedly find out for yourself, as it’s really affordable, and definitely necessary. But it’s murder on disc jockeys (finding the correct tracks).

V/A Starving Dogs cassette

A Chicago-area compilation with lots of styles represented. There’s plenty of thrash, some experimental stuff, and some punky pop. The sound quality isn’t the best, which tends to hurt the impact of some of these groups, but garage outfits like EVIL EYE benefit thereby. The other bands are BLOODY NAILS, NEGATIVE ELEMENT (now defunct), END RESULT, POLITICAL JUSTICE, VERBOTEN, the SEISMIC WAVES, KGB, GROAN BOX, ROTA, AOF, the ANTI-BODIES, BLOODY MURDER, NO RELATION, and ONO.

V/A Garage Music for Psych Heads Vol. 1 Cassette

Where did they find these recordings? This tape contains lots of long-lost original psychedelic bands, including the BAD SEEDS, the CHOCOLATE WATCHBAND, STILL ROVEN, the LOST TRIBE, and a bunch more. Anyone interested in obscure psychedelic punk from the ’60s should look for this.

V/A Get Off My Back LP

From the City of Brotherly Love comes this great compilation. It features a few songs from ten bands (see the Philly scene report for a list), and includes all kinds of modern punk sounds. There’s out-and-out thrash, quirky punk, slower punk, faster punk, jazzy punk, etc. Mandatory listening.

V/A Life Is Morning, So Why Not Steal This Record? LP

The third in the Life Is series. This one’s got two live GERMS classics to its credit, plus neat stuff by the MINUTEMEN, MODERN WARFARE, ANTI, MOOD OF DEFIANCE, HARI KARI, SIN 34, ARTISTIC DECLINE, and MODERN TORTURE. REDD KROSS disappoint with their “metal” number, and SHATTERED FAITH is so-so. Then there are nine more bands that get into electronics, folk, jazz, etc., for the adventurous.

V/A I’ve Got Those… Demo-lition Blues LP

Eighteen previously unrecorded young bands that range from ’77-style punk to thrash to current Britpunk to Oi. The quality of the material and sound varies, but most of it is absurdly predictable. I like SOLVENT ABUSE, the ABORTED, and DEVOID the most, but there certainly aren’t any classics here.

V/A Blender Mix LP

Eight bands from Ottawa and possibly Quebec. Some are thrash (OUTBREAK, HERGS CORPS), some are punk (RANDY PETERS, MODERNES PICKLES), one is garage (the LAST PRAYERS), and the rest are experimental or HALF JAPANESE-type noise bands. Another eclectic regional compilation for the archives.

V/A Holland Hardcore cassette

Nine bands, only one of which—ZMIV—appeared on the Als Je Haar… compilation reviewed last issue. Yet all of these bands are terrific as well, and indicate the depth of the new Dutch hardcore scene. On this 70-song tape of varying sound quality, one can hear the SQUITS, LÄRM, ZWEETKUTTEN, the VIKINGS, STANX, GLORIOUS DEATH, KNAX, and LA RESISTANCE.

V/A O Começo Do Fim Do Mundo LP

Raw, full of energy, recorded live from the punk festival in Brazil (November 27-28, 1982), and featuring nineteen bands scratching the vinyl in a brutal assault of blistering fury. Attacking, incinerating numbers by OLHO SECO, COLERA, LUZIO FINAL, HINO MORTAL, and FOGO CRUZADO surge forth in a stampede of bulldozing mayhem that is hard and abrasive, carrying a heavy momentum of unrelenting power. The live recording is the only thing that mars this effort.

V/A Waterkant Hits LP

Here are ten new hardcore bands from West Germany, without a sleeper in the bunch. Most of the bands thrash—E-605, RAZZIA, MASSAKER, SS ULTRABRUTAL, and HH MILCH are all great; OXENSCHWANZ is totally weird, and the others go off in a variety of directions. Well worth the time and money.