America never initially embraces what it creates, until it exports itself abroad, to Europe and then finally takes it back- see Jazz and Paris, Blues and the UK. Punk was exported to the UK before the USA realised what it had hatched. Reinterpreted into something more pristine, it became cubed out then supercharged with nitro gallons of anger. A long thread connects the New York Dolls to the Sex Pistols.
This CD brims with a full prototype punk call to arms, bristling with angst directed at the American way of life. Whereas the 60's punks screamed about being torn away from the girl next door to finally blast Viet children in faraway jungles, these 70's kids just screamed louder about the throwaway world they all inhabited.
The pressures of four walls were forever compressing young people between school, army, jobs and sterility. Anyone who kicked against these pricks were sent to the naughty stool as parents were horrified. Crushing the personality with pre-packed performance roles, as the end produce was soggy nerds. This CD was the counter explosion pushing those nullifying forces back to the outer edges to bring about some freedom. It came together in one brief flurry of fury before finally dispersing into drug addiction, art careers, musical careers or mortgages.
26 tracks are brought together blasting a meta-ampheta-mined guitar bass, drums and snot nosed lyrics. All vibrations were buried under the rock layers of soporific tedium,if not rescued by that deep cave dweller; Jon Savage.
This bag of bytes contains; Germs, Dils, Crime, Screamers, Weirdos, Dead Kennedy's, Urinals, Bags, Alleycats, Zeros, Avengers amongst others. The individual tracks are rare artifacts as they are the first cultural attack, raised at the hegemony of greed in the USA. This CD rounds them all up in one long playing convenience, captured in a specific moment in time just before all opposition was Reaganised. An angry counter reaction to the violence inflicted by institutions and parents- a one fingered swiveling salute to the paraded culture of beating the brat that was de rigeur in the 70's. More than just a music lesson but a display of psychological history.
Whilst the 60's refused to fight, no one screamed the world sucked- glaring at the nihilism of parents, schools, armies, police and any other institutes, those proclaiming they knew best. In this snapshot window these were all dutifully placed into the bin marked; no longer listening. In the 1960's there was still a glimmer of hope the world could change but by the 70's no one cared, it was all too boring to transform, as Stirneric nihilism abounded.
So when you place this on the deck, you hear the proto sounds of young people screaming, shattering the 70's mythologies which uphold bland glam action man was the main focus. Instead these begin the quest for an inner meaning.
on 15 December 2010
Being an LA Punk meant having to run for your life from members of `straight society' who saw it as their aim to punch or silence `anyone not like them'. As a result it was informed not only by fear but also by aggression. Faggots, weirdos, freaks, and outsiders screamed to be heard and to communicate using the tools left behind by the last lot of kids who wanted some kind of cultural change. A club to play in, music to believe in and an attitude that wasn't going to be defined by cops, parents, politicians or a previous generation. If this sounds limited, in some ways it was. There was no real call for `political action' in the broader sense, just a call to say let us be what we want to be for the reasons we're singing about. Whatever anyone tells you, the USA, even West Coast USA, has never believed in live and let live, as there's always been a bunch of tell-tale tits ready to scream and holler anytime they perceive there's a new threat to `the kids'. In fact, new threats are generally more threatening to the adults whose job is to keep the lid on anything that smacks of newness, anarchy or a challenge to the way things need to stay. Black Hole is the perfect example of why LA punk was neither a threat to `the kids' nor a negative, but a wonderful positive, a call to arms to create something unrelated to old West Coast tropes (but I guess this still depends on your age and who you are). For me this is a great release and a perfect introduction to a music that is still thrilling in its intensity and passion, with enough musical blueprints to get the next bunch of kids to start bands and demand the eminently sensible wish to be left alone to do what they want to do in the way they want to do it.
on 20 March 2011
I sometimes don't "Love" Jon Savage's Overbaked Writing style in regard to the World of Punk Rock, BUT,
This is the second Compilation from Jon & Both have been Great. His Making Sure The Screamers are Actually Represented, which is So Important to those of us Schooled in the California Scenes, is worth the Price alone! Some more Common Tracks/bands included from Many other comp: X, Germs, Avengers, Bags, etc, of Course (& GREAT) BUT Lots of Unusual & Welcome surprises! Bands like CRIME, Sleepers, The Offs, Flesheaters, Consumers, & The Totally Mysterious, The Aurora Pushups! Make this Comp Special! The Auroras' Song Victims of Terrorism was Never More Topical!
The Booklet has Actually Unseen Photos & rarely Seen show Flyers, as well as Song By song breakdowns & First hand reminiscences. The Lifestyle is Represented, before you could "buy it at the Mall! Silly Tattoo decal, But nice Thought...
You Think you are into "Punk Rock" then Pick up this CD & Really Decide.
on 10 April 2011
So glad I got this. Had only heard one of the songs before & most of the bands were new to me & there's so much good stuff here! Fantastic snarling punk, electro & some great quite poppy nuggets. Anyone who believes punk was restricted to the UK should listen to this to see that a similar attitude was reaching all round the world. Some of it has dated a bit but is a fine snapshot of the time. Its rare to get a compilation where I listen to every track but there's not one duff song on here. Get it to hear tracks that deserved to be heard then & deserve to be heard now. The American In Me by The Avengers is my favourite song in the world right now.
on 4 March 2011
Great album. In The Netherlands, where I live, we never saw any of these bands perform, but hearing their energy, their rawness, the spirit and their attitude reminds me of numerous Dutch bands I saw in Amsterdam at the time. Listening to this collection conjures up images of one-chord wonders performing in squats, beer soaked floors, pogoing and slamdancing, and getting chased by squares on mopeds who hated us Punks. I guess the spirit was universal: if Jon Savage had visited Amsterdam at the time he could have made a similar collection of Dutch bands. Nevertheless: worth buying, even though not all songs are worth listening to twice.