Germs Cat’s Clause 2xEP+CD box set

The narrator-via-interview of the GERMS portion of The Decline of Western Civilization, Nicole Panter comes across as both calmly accustomed to the band’s rowdy antics and resigned to the custodial nature of her role as manager, regularly tasked with facilitating and then cleaning up the ramifications of the messes that Darby and co. created while onstage. Capturing the essence of those legendary messes, this collection delivers the dirt in a neat multi-media package. Spreading thirteen tracks of live GERMS recordings across two 7″’s and a CD, Cat’s Clause brings us a snapshot of the chaotic atmosphere that seemed to follow the band during its brief but well-documented tenure. In these ’79—’80 recordings, Darby’s distinct snarls can be heard decrying spitters in the audience, freestyling over a “never-ending” version of “Shut Down,” and demanding that the band be paid while refusing to perform on the five-minute non-musical track entitled “Germs Riot” that depicts some sort of incident at a spot called The Great Gatsby. The bulk of these raw performances are from the Hong Kong Cafe and the Starwood, and it finishes up with two rehearsal songs caught on tape at L.A.’s infamous Canterbury apartment building. Packaged with an arm-band patch, sticker, button, and 32-page color booklet filled with photos, lyrics, and more, this box has plenty of fun to sink your fandom into, and the CD containing all the 7″ tracks plus four more is pretty convenient as well. Anyone with nostalgia for this band or scene, whether real or imagined, is sure to find a good time in this sprawling archival set.