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#1 HALL OF FAMEon 21 October 2006
The look back culture can be a great thing, from the post-punk emphasis of the last few years (Scritti Politti's Early, Rip It Up & Start Again, The Slits reforming, Josef K's recent compilation), to festivals like All Tomorrows Parties (which Flipper & Negative Approach featured here both played at recently in Minehead), and onto something like this. This is the soundtrack that ties into the upcoming documentary, based on Steven Blush's book 'American Hardcore: A Tribal History.'

This brand of punk rock, as is made evident in books like 'Get in the Van' or 'This Band Could Be Your Underground' or the Rollins sections in John Robb's Punk Rock reader, lasted much longer in the US than in the UK. Punk rock was probably created in the 1960s, probably the Sonics or The MC5 or The Stooges...this was the next step on, a full on punk influenced underground scene that emphasised the independent, that tapped into angst and a sense of hopelessness apparent to the Reagan-generation, and had a quality that became apparent in the faster side of metal: Anthrax, Suicidal Tendencies, even Metallica in their earlier incarnation. American hardcore, like No Wave, would lead to lots of alternative music later on in the decade - perhaps everything culminating with the double-edged success/failure of Nirvana, which sadly set the tone for pseud-punk to come. Watch the film, I'm sure it will explain things much more clearly!

This compilation takes in 26 tracks exemplifying this genre, the majority of which has aged quite well - though the odd track is a bit tedious, like a lot of thrashy fast stuff you need to be in the mood. There's plenty of great stuff though - Bad Brains' classic 'Pay to Cum', Untouchables' 'Nic Fit' (as covered by Sonic Youth on 'Dirty'), MDC's 'I Remember', Cro-Mags' 'Don't Tread On Me', a demo of 'I Hate Children' by the Adolescents, 'Nervous Breakdown' by Black Flag & 'Filler' by Minor Threat. There are other interesting selections - Scream's 'Came Without Warning', 'Friend or Foe' by Negative Approach, 'Out of Vogue' by Middle Class (which appears to feature Mike Patton, later of Mr Bungle, Faith No More & Peeping Tom), 'Red Tape' by Circle Jerks (who would appear in 'Repo Man', I'd have picked the classic 'Group Sex' personally), and the closing 'Ha Ha Ha' by Flipper - a band who Cobain nodded to by wearing a t-shirt and whose Novoselic is now bassist for. 'Ha Ha Ha' has a bass-line that appears to have been re-quoted in The Pixies' 1989 chestnut 'Debaser'; shame the band sound more like the second side of 'My War' these days...

There are a few acts who might have merited inclusion - The Germs, Dead Kennedys, early Replacements, Minutemen, or Husker Du from 'Land Speed Record' to 'In a Free Land', but you can't have everything! An ideal introduction and a reminder of what passionate music of a non-corporate variety is. These bands and this genre would go on to influence many in its wake - Nirvana, The Lemonheads, Fugazi, Mission of Burma, Moby, The Pixies, Mudhoney, Sonic Youth, Graham Coxon, Dinosaur Jr, The Beastie Boys (see Tough Guy or Heart Attack Man!), Faith No More, Husker Du (for their period between the Ubu-sounding Statues and Metal Circus/Zen Arcade, which still contained hardcore traces), Jeffrey Lewis, Magnetic Fields, Ryan Adams, Rage Against the Machine, At the Drive In, Jeff Buckley, Nina Nastasia, Slint, Screaming Trees etc. Certainly one to check out...
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on 12 September 2007
Virtually every track on this is worth a listen, even the ones I have heard a thousand times before. The sound quality is quite good bearing in mind most was recorded for $3 or something 25+ years ago.
A bit more sleeve notes/history would have been interesting, and the obligatory photo of Henry Rollins is bogus as he does not feature on the cd!
Still, very much worth getting as would be accompanying DVD if it ever gets released in the UK.
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on 12 June 2012
if you want to know the first american bands......you must have IT..........i buy the book.....the dvd......the Cd............i know the history
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