I think it's safe to say that the Minutemen were, without question one of the important bands of the 1980's American hardcore movement. Alongside label mates Black Flag and Husker Du, they moved American punk music on from the Ramones and Bad Brains into a new, fresh arena.
With 'Double Nickels' the Minutemen reached their absolute pinnacle. An incredible double lp (original release) bursting with one and two minute gems of political, smalltown and big city angst, it rattles along at a pace matched in it's creation.
It was recorded, as most Minutemen albums were, in unbelieveable time. It has a raw, live, but still tight, sound which many of todays garage and punk acts would die for and a breadth of songwriting that most bands can only dream of.
It's an album you can't really dissect, there are stand out tracks, like 'Corona' and 'This Aint No Picnic', but it is as a whole that this album truly works.
It is a masterpiece by any standards, but by Minutemen standards it was, simply their best.
For other reference points of that period, you may also like to check out Husker Du's 'Zen Arcade' and 'New Day Rising' and Black Flags 'My War', all very different, but equally seminal.