? and the Mysterians Dallas Reunion Tapes: 96 Tears Forever cassette

This reunion was recorded last year with all original members intact. This is the band that helped define the sweaty, cheesy punk sounds of the late ’60s which later inspired a ton of other bands. This recording is full of their old fire, and any true fan of the LYRES, FLESHTONES, or any new underground garage bands must have this tape.

Christian Death The Decomposition of Violets: Live in Hollywood cassette

This live concert, recorded in Hollywood, represents a fusion of late JOY DIVISION and Ummagumma-period PINK FLOYD. Atmospheric, slightly psychedelic, and well-recorded, this performance hits and misses with its post-punk sensibility; selected songs, however, are pretty decent for the genre.

Einstürzende Neubauten 2×4 cassette

These folks are among the world’s leading proponents of industrial noise, utilizing instruments, jackhammers, concrete mixers, etc. But somehow, these live recordings didn’t shake me up. ZEV makes better rhythms beating on his springs, SPK used to make more intense, demonic sounds, and ENO makes better ambient music. Not that I’m any expert on this stuff, but after reading Tesco’s article, I thought this genre would change my life. Guess I’m too weird already, ’cause it seems tame.

Flipper Blowin’ Chunks cassette

Here they are again, this time with an LP’s worth of live material that sounds just like their studio stuff. A lot of their classic tracks are on here, sounding as good and raw and raucous as ever.

GG Allin Hated in the Nation cassette

Here is GG ALLIN with 45 minutes of raw, intense debauchery. Some may call him sexist, violent, or stupid, but some of these tunes are catchy! Not for the easily offended or “politically correct.”

Johnny Thunders Stations of the Cross cassette

A must for those NY DOLLS/HEARTBREAKERS fans, 21 live songs of fantastic sound quality, recorded in NYC in 1983 featuring other ex-DOLLS Lure and Nolan. This rocks! Anyone got a spoon?

Lounge Lizards Live 79/81 cassette

I hate jazz even more than metal (at least heavy metal is humorous in a pitiable kind of way). That’s why I was surprised to enjoy (moderately) this cassette of finely recorded live cuts from the LOUNGE LIZARDS’ repertoire. Though these songs have their own robust energy, this is not punk.

Richard Hell R.I.P. cassette

This fascinating document covers the career of RICHARD HELL from his early work with the HEARTBREAKERS in 1975 through various incarnations of the VOIDOIDS. Mostly studio material with a smattering of live recordings, there’s some first rate stuff here, much of it previously unreleased. Fans of RICHARD HELL and seminal US punk would be well-advised to get this one.

The Dickies We Aren’t the World cassette

I can’t claim to be impartial about this band, but predominantly raw live tracks are mixed in with a few early demos on this one. New versions of all of your fave DICKIES songs will make fans delirious with joy, though this tape is not the ideal introduction to this great band.

UK Subs Left for Dead: Alive in Holland ’86 cassette

While this live tape (recorded in Holland, ’86) doesn’t pack the punch of a bunch of adolescent loonies, the upbeat mid-tempo sing-along punk showcased here is pretty impressive, even by modern standards. SUBS fans will definitely dig this.

V/A New York Thrash cassette

A good but somewhat disappointing sampler of New York punk bands. The main problem is that the compiler—Tim Sommer?—didn’t always use enough discrimination in selecting bands or songs. Especially impressive are KRAUT’s piston-driven punk, the BEASTIE BOYS’ primitive thrash, and intense experimental punk by both the FALSE PROPHETS and the long-defunct MAD; one should also note ADRENALIN OD’s ultrafast funnypunk and the female-led noise of EVEN WORSE. Most of the other groups should already be familiar (BAD BRAINS, UNDEAD, HEART ATTACK, NIHILISTICS), but there’s no excuse for including macho Misfits-clones like the FIENDS and leaving the great REAGAN YOUTH off this compilation. A lot of the material here is available elsewhere, but ROIR has provided a service by reissuing some hard-to-find and out-of-print items.

V/A World Class Punk cassette

Mykel Board compiled this for ROIR, and the outcome is by far the best and broadest international compilation yet. Not only does it have a wide variety of styles, it also has a wider variety of countries represented (27 in all), including the Eastern Bloc, South Africa, and South America, but excluding the US and UK. There are excellent hardcore and garage bands on side one, and on side two are some really great pop-punk and post-punk groups. A new wave band from Columbia is hard to get through, but I can’t think of any other bands here that I don’t like. Check this out.

V/A Garage Sale cassette

The cassette equivalent of Voxx’s Battle of the Garages, this collection put together by Goldmine magazine lures such contemporary garage groups as the VIPERS, GRAVEDIGGERS V, TELL-TALE HEARTS, PANDORAS, FUZZTONES, CHEEPSKATES, UNCLAIMED, and more. Can’t really go wrong there. Gnarly.