Rave Up

Badhabit Detroit 1980–1981 LP

Music-obsessed teenagers from the suburbs of Detroit dream of being in a band, and BADHABIT is formed before anyone knows how to play an instrument. A few years later they are playing Detroit clubs and ultimately take off to New York to record some songs. Those songs are included here, along with one song recorded live in Cincinnati. Their sound is a combination of heavy Motor City proto-punk and poppy punk, with an occasional English accent popping up on a couple of songs. Fantastically naïve and overconfident. I bet “Political Men” was their crowd-pleaser. “The only good politician is a dead politician / Oh yeah.” The songs are really good, but the recording needs a little oomph. Even still, it’s great to hear.

Dangerous Girls Present Recordings 1978–1982 LP

This is a great collection. Not one song included here is from their four 7”s, yet almost every one seems like it could have/should have been released on one. DANGEROUS GIRLS were from Birmingham, UK and existed for four years, 1978 to 1982. The songs on this collection span those years. The earlier stuff is more poppy punk with a snarky attitude and humorous lyrics. The later stuff gets more arty in cool ways. Unlike most collections of this type, there is only one live song (“Plug Me In”) included, and it is an unreleased one, too. The live track brings the album’s momentum down a bit (it appears halfway through the second side) and doesn’t sound as good as the studio songs, but it’s a pretty good song so I can forgive the misstep.

Fol Jazik Dete Na Xx Vek / Oglas Šifra 7″

Two doses of primitive Yugoslavian drug punk circa 1979 unearthed by the folks at Rave Up. There’s something amazing about listening to a band struggling to bash out two-chord riffs, and every moment of this single sounds like a struggle. Rudimentary at best, raw brilliance at its worst, “Dete Na XX Vek” deserves to be preserved in the outsider punk archives—file somewhere between TAMPAX and the DOGS.

Hunter Schizophrenia EP

Somehow there’s still unheard music from the seemingly bottomless well of UK bands that formed from 1977–1982. This is a first-time issue of three songs by the one-and-done HUNTER from the Isle of Wight, who broke up shortly after recording this EP back in 1980. The songs have more of a jumped-up pub rock or power pop sound—very tightly played, melodic rockers like something by EDDIE AND THE HOT RODS or an also-ran Stiff Records single.

The Dogs Teen Slime: Original 1973–1977 Recordings LP

Forgotten ’70s heroes the DOGS from Iowa played raw and primal guitar rock, minus much of the pretension that was so commonly paired with popular music of the era. Instead they opted for unapologetic expression with a beautiful “fuck you” feel. I guess it’s hard to be pretentious when you’re wailing and shrieking like a wounded animal over a decent percentage of the music, and the singer here has no shame in his vocal freak-out game. Riffs are dirty and direct, the themes are of youthful confusion and reflection, and their STOOGES influence is evident as soon as you look at the album’s cover. The songs sometimes take up a shamanic vibe, as in the bluesy “Man Is Not An Animal”, and at other times it sounds like every member of the band is doing whatever the hell they want with surprisingly rockin’ results (see: “Freakin’ on the Street”). In other words, this is proto-punk gold, and this collection features the band’s 1977 double A-side “Rot n’ Roll / Teen Slime” single, as well as five earlier songs dating back as far as 1973. I’ve been listening to this thing for months. The Breakout/Rave Up team-up is on a roll with excellent reissues of this nature, fingers crossed for the PUNKS LP next.

The Front Wet Things LP

A collection of poppy, goofy new wave songs from this Miami, Florida band. They were around from 1980 to 1983, and released two singles and a posthumous album. Some songs from those releases are here, plus a bunch more. There is no info about when the other tracks were recorded, but they sound like studio recordings. Unfortunately, only one of the three songs from their debut First Strike EP is included. The standout track is the B-side from their second single—“Poor People,” a catchy, upbeat synth-led song with silly lyrics like “Ship them off to Arkansas or somewhere else that sucks.” The FRONT was apparently on its way to major label stardom, but broke up instead. They made the correct choice.

The Pigs Youthanasia LP

First-wave UK punk outfit the PIGS left us just one artifact in their brief existence, the venerable Youthanasia EP. Little did we know there were seven more songs from the same 1977 recording session lurking about in obscurity ever since! This excellent collection includes those plus the four tracks originally released on the EP as well for a total of eleven twangy and bangy OG punk thrashers. With infectious tunes covering classic punk topics like anarchy, racism, and nuclear war way before they became cliché, these scrappy Bristol lads unwittingly created a blueprint that would soon become well-worn. This is ’77 punk at its raucous, ramshackle finest. Essential.

Tracks Brakes on You LP

TRACKS were a Boston band who released one 7″ single in 1977, moved to New York in 1978 to join the scene, and promptly broke up in 1979. The single tracks “Brakes on You” and “Bombs Away” are included here along with 1976 live recordings from Cambridge, MA’s The Club. Led by the snarling, tough gal vocals of Lorry Doll, TRACKS have a nasty, don’t-give-a-shit attitude. The music is sped-up hard rock with a bit of punkiness to it. These recordings are rough, but there is something there. Perhaps with a proper recording, some publicity, and the necessary luck, they could have made the history books. But you also get the feeling that isn’t what they were looking for.

Trancefusion Incredible But True! LP

TRANCEFUSION was a first wave Italian punk band that would have been lost to the ages if Federico Guglielmi didn’t save that cassette of recordings the band made in 1978. They marked it “incredible but true!” Twelve of the fourteen tracks from that cassette are here, plus four live songs, of which two are the songs from the cassette that couldn’t be included because they deteriorated. The music is rough, trashy, and urgent. The singing is gruff and spit at you. They probably could have put out a 45 or two from these back then. This collection is an interesting look at Italian punk history.