This record somehow still sounds fresh and powerful almost thirty years after its release - a near-miracle of crystal-clear production and bristling tension. This record straddles the boundary between punk and hardcore; the tunes are mostly snarled, and sometimes off-beat, and the lyrics can have an almost visionary quality. When I heard it played during its debut week (at a college Tower Records), everyone seemed to stop still in their tracks.
This LP eschews melody for a kind of punk poetry - an approach more famously employed by fellow L.A. rockers X. But while X's songs were always informed by a rockabilly flavor, The Germs are almost indescribably disorganized and intense. Nut unlike their live gigs, there's that sense that everything is going to break apart at any moment. The production by Joan Jett helps keep the whole thing going.
It's easy to use the usual stream of adjectives to describe a favored record. This is one where the superlatives may very well fit.