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Monday, February 28, 2011

Death Angel - Frolic Through The Park

Released : 1988
Recorded : March 1988
Genre : Thrash metal
Length : 56:17
Label : Enigma Records
Producer : Davy Vain

Death Angel's second effort, 1988's Frolic Through the Park, continued to improve on its technical thrash formula, as the band's developing musical ability began to do their ambitious songwriting some justice. "Why You Do This," "Devil's Metal," and "Confused" are prime examples of the band's intricate sound, which, unfortunately, tended to sacrifice concise hooks and melody for overblown song structures and arrangements. The only exception turns out to be the album's strongest cut, "Bored," which shows a rare sense of humor and musical restraint. Also of note is the excellent playing of guitarist Rob Cavestany, who holds everything together with his tasteful and skillful axe work.

Tracks

1. 3rd Floor
2. Road Mutants
3. Why You Do This
4. Bored
5. Devil's Metal
6. Confused
7. Guilty Of Innocence
8. Open Up
9. Shores Of Sin
10.Cold Gin
11.Mind Rape


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Death Angel - Act III

Released : 1990
Recorded : September – October, 1989
Dodge City Sound,California, USA
Genre : Thrash metal
Length : 44:54
Label : Geffen
Producer : Max Norman

San Francisco's precocious Death Angel finally reached musical adulthood (though some band members were still barely old enough to vote) with 1990's Act III. Their first album to benefit from major-label distribution and a truly top-notch production courtesy of Max Norman, it also witnessed the continuing development of lead guitarist Rob Cavestany, who literally dominated the album with his impressive chops and superior songwriting. Coupled with his generally well-thought out lyrics (sung by the still mediocre Mark Osegueda), songs like "A Room With a View," "The Organization," and especially first single "Seemingly Endless Time" seemed to confirm the band's destiny as apparent heirs to intellectual thrashers Anthrax, then in swift decline. Sadly, a number of external (sparse promotional support, the genre's dwindling popularity) and internal forces (bandmate squabbling) would make this the band's final album. At least it served as a fond farewell and remains the ideal starting point to the Death Angel discography.

Tracks

1. Seemingly Endless Time
2. Stop
3. Veil Of Deception
4. The Organization
5. Discontinued
6. A Room With A View
7. Stagnant
8. EX-TC
9. Disturbing The Peace
10.Falling Asleep


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Metallic Attack: The Ultimate Tribute

Released : August 3, 2004
Genre : Heavy metal
Length : 52:05
Label : Big Deal
Producer : Bob Kulick, Bruce Bouillet

Metallic Attack: The Ultimate Tribute is a tribute album to thrash metal band Metallica. Motörhead's cover of "Whiplash" from this album won a Grammy for "Best Metal Performance" in 2005. The album contains covers of songs from Metallica's first 5 studio albums.

Tracks


1. Whiplash - Motörhead
2. Damage, Inc. - Flotsam and Jetsam
3. Enter Sandman - Nuno Bettencourt (Extreme; guitar)
Scott Travis (Racer X, Judas Priest; drums)
Tommy Victor (Prong; vocals)
Joey Vera (Armored Saint, Fates Warning; bass)
4. Trapped Under Ice - Death Angel
5. Nothing Else Matters - Gregg Bissonette (Steve Vai, David Lee Roth; drums)
Tony Franklin (Roy Harper, The Firm; bass)
Bob Kulick (Meat Loaf, W.A.S.P.; rhythm guitar)
Bruce Kulick (KISS, Grand Funk Railroad; lead guitar)
Joe Lynn Turner (Rainbow, Yngwie Malmsteen Deep Purple; all vocals)
6. Motorbreath - Page Hamilton (Helmet; vocals)
Scott Ian (Anthrax; guitar)
Rob "Blasko" Nicholson (Ozzy Osbourne, Rob Zombie; bass)
Ryan Yerdon (Puddle of Mudd; drums)
7. Holier Than Thou - Doug Aldrich (Dio, Whitesnake; guitar)
Chuck Billy (Testament; vocals)
Marco Mendoza (John Sykes, Blue Murder; bass)
Eric Singer (KISS, Alice Cooper; drums)
Alex Skolnick (Testament; guitar)
8. Master of Puppets - Bruce Bouillet (Racer X; guitar)
Randy Castillo (Ozzy Osbourne; drums)
Whitfield Crane (Ugly Kid Joe; vocals)
Rocky George (Suicidal Tendencies; guitar)
Mike Inez (Alice in Chains; bass)
9. Eye of the Beholder - Life After Death
10.Creeping Death - Dark Angel


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Friday, February 18, 2011

The Wild Swans - Bringing Home The Ashes

Released : 1988
Genre : Post-Punk, New Wave
Lenght : 35:10
Label : Sire, Reprise

Songs about war and religious faith were not exclusive to U2 in the '80s. Liverpool, England's the Wild Swans ventured into U2 territory on their 1988 debut album, Bringing Home the Ashes, while sustaining their distinctive sound. The haunting voice of Paul Simpson injects every track with emotional weight; whether he is trying to convey joy or sorrow, his icy baritone chills to the bone. His vocals combine Scott Walker's lonely croon with the brooding angst of Ian McNabb from fellow Liverpudlians the Icicle Works. Simpson's dramatic voice vividly illustrates the stories in his songs. Bringing Home the Ashes is about somebody coming of age, growing up in an age of war and trying to find comfort from God and love. The Wild Swans were never promoted as a Christian group, but Simpson's lyrics profess a profound devotion to his religious beliefs. In "Young Manhood," Simpson sings, "Lord, I'm in your hands on Judgment Day." Nevertheless, Simpson doesn't bombard the listener with biblical doctrine; like Bono of U2, Simpson uses his spirituality to express hope or despair. The ringing guitars of Jeremy Kelly is hypnotic, especially the chiming riffs in "Archangels" and "Whirlpool Heart." As enthralling as U2 were in the '80s, they never sounded as gorgeous as the Wild Swans do on Bringing Home the Ashes. Simpson and Kelly paint indelible images; visions of a majestic cherub burst from Simpson's lyrics in "Archangels" while Kelly's shimmering guitars describe the sound of its flapping wings. Simpson's sparkling voice and Kelly's ethereal guitars provide the album with an undeniably romantic feel. Every track is suffused with radiant pop hooks. The songs are uplifting; even the disconsolate "The Worst Year of My Life" is more cathartic than depressing. In the lovely "Bitterness," Simpson sings, "Forget about the bitterness of life," a message that resonates throughout the album. Bringing Home the Ashes was a buried treasure when it was released in 1988; however, it developed a cult following in the Philippines and Japan. In 1999, the album was reissued on CD by Warner Music Japan, and it hadn't dated at all. Excellent songcraft doesn't age.

Tracks

1. Young Manhood
2. Bible Dreams
3. Bitterness
4. Archangels
5. Northern England
6. Whirlpool Heart
7. Bringing Home The Ashes
8. Mythical Beast
9. Now And Forever
10.The Worst Year Of My Life


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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Bolshoi - Lindy's Party

Released : October 1987
Genre : New Wave, Post Punk
Label : Beggars Banquet
Producer : The Bolshoi

The Bolshoi almost drown themselves in studio gloss with Lindy's Party. Since the band produced the album themselves, the commercial polish of the LP is baffling; given the creative freedom, one would predict the Bolshoi to head in the opposite direction. The Bolshoi aim for the dancefloor with "Auntie Jean," "Please," and "Can You Believe It". Of course, the Bolshoi have never been immune to the allure of discotheques; "A Way," for example, was remixed several times for the club circuit. However, Lindy's Party has an overall bigger sound that doesn't complement the Bolshoi, a group that only excels when they rein themselves in. The drums beat louder and more rapidly than before; there are too many synthesizers, too. Nevertheless, Lindy's Party shouldn't be completely dismissed by its excesses. The uncharacteristically spirited "T.V. Man" cleverly juxtaposes lyrical references to Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry films with music from a western. "She Don't Know" is propelled by the moody jangle of early R.E.M., and "Swings and Roundabouts" has the ominous, swirling guitars of old Bolshoi. Even "Auntie Jean" and "Please," for all of their concessions to American radio, have decent hooks. In their live performances the Bolshoi were probably able to shed much of the fat from Lindy's Party.

Tracks

1. Auntie Jean
2. Please
3. Crack In Smile
4. Swings And Roundabouts
5. She Don't Know
6. T.V. Man
7. Can You Believe It
8. Rainy Day
9. Barrowlands
10.Lindy's Party


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The Alarm - The Alarm EP

Released : June 1983
Recorded : 1982-1983
Genre : Rock, Pop
Length : 16:48
Label : IRS Records
Producer : Various

This is a five-song EP that introduced the Alarm in the U.S. It is led off by "The Stand," a forceful anthem that established the band's powerful, vaguely political message. Actually, they were always more stance than stand, more notable for their fury than their sense. It made for stirring listening, though.

Tracks

1. The Stand
2. Across The Border
3. Marching On
4. Lie Of The Land
5. For Freedom (live)


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MDC - Millions Of Dead Cops

Released : 1982
Genre : Hardcore punk
Length : 20:36
Label : Rhythm Vicar, Radical Records (reisssue),Twisted Chords

MDC, formerly the Texas Stains, are one of the most politically-aware punk bands around today, and this record has enough food for thought to gorge the average listener with ideas. The music is exceptionally fast but much more complex than the typical thrash attack, a combination that can be disorienting until the material becomes more familiar. My one complaint is that the mix emphasizes the vocals at the expense of the guitars, but this is still one of the year's best albums.

1. Business On Parade
2. Dead Cops/America's So Straight
3. Born to Die
4. Corporate Deathburger
5. Violent Rednecks
6. I Remember
7. John Wayne Was a Nazi
8. Dick For Brains
9. I Hate Work
10.My Family is a Little Weird
11.Greedy and Pathetic
12.Church and State
13.Kill the Light
14.American Achievements


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Monday, February 14, 2011

45 Grave - Autopsy

Released : 1987
Genre : Deathrock, Horror punk
Label : Enigma

Autopsy is a compilation album by 45 Grave. It contains new tracks, alternate versions of existing tracks and the track Black Cross and its B-Side from the single.

Tracks

1. The Plan
2. Take 9
3. Anti Anti Anti
4. Concerned Citizen
5. Consumers
6. My Type
7. Eye
8. Your Problem
9. Anti-Em
10.Dream Hits
11.Partytime
12.Surf Bat
13.Choices
14.Wax
15.Black Cross
16.Riboflavin-flavored, Non-carbonated, Polyunsaturated Blood


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NOFX - Coaster

Released : April 28, 2009
Recorded : November 2008 – February 2009 at Motor Studios, San Francisco, CA
Genre : Punk rock
Length : 32:48
Label : Fat Wreck Chords
Producer : Bill Stevenson

After 25 years in the game, NOFX are still going and are still as bratty as ever, sneering as they tackle their favorite subjects: drinking ("The Quitter," "I Am an Alcoholic," "First Call"), anti-religion ("Best God in Show," "Blasphemy [The Victimless Crime]"), and anti-patriotism ("We Called It America," "Suits and Ladders"). Nothing new there, but along with well-trodden themes of partying, agnosticism, and clever observations about their scene, there's a big departure this time around that comes in the form of "My Orphan Year." Fat Mike is at his most confessional in a rare, sincere, Barbara Walters moment, wherein he opens up his journal to the dark days with remorseful lyrics about the death of his parents. He reveals himself as a true sad-faced clown tormented by inner demons more than a few times on Coaster, admitting, "I didn't try pot 'til I was 21 but now I'm overcompensating" and "My friends are telling me that I need to find a clinic, but I won't, cuz I'm a drug-addicted alcoholic." Life as a pill-popping punk rocker might be taking its toll with age, but when the mood is light, Mike and the group are as funny as ever. Prior to a song about the breakup of Iron Maiden ("Bruce, Eddie, and Paul"), complete with dueling guitar harmonies and a pretty bad Bruce Dickinson impersonation, there's an autobiographical account (probably) of first meeting and talking about Jennifer Tilly with either Tegan or Sara (Mike couldn't tell) of Tegan and Sara, before spooking her severely with talk of drugs and sex ("Creeping Out Sara"). As a whole, it's not one of their best records, considering the size of their discography, but it's not a bad little record. Fans will like it since the band is still shining as a tight unit and hasn't lost a step musically, but at the same time, if shoppers are also considering Backstage Pass, the NOFX tour documentary DVD released around the same time, that packs more bang for the buck in the extras alone.

Tracks

1. We Called It America
2. The Quitter
3. First Call
4. My Orphan Year
5. Blasphemy (The Victimless Crime)
6. Creeping Out Sara
7. Eddie, Bruce, And Paul
8. Best God In Show
9. Suits And Ladders
10.The Agony Of Victory
11.I Am An Alcoholic
12.One Million Coasters


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Final Conflict - Final Conflict E.P. 7"

Relesed : 1983
Genre : Hardcore Punk
Label : Reflex Records

Don’t let the name and INCREDIBLE ugly cover scare you away. It would lead you to believe it’s another mediocre mid 80′s Euro HC or d-clone band but it’s not. What immediately comes to mind is a mix of Void, United Mutation and early Husker Du. Yeah it’s that good! Still, as with 90% of the early 80′s USHC/punk bands, they have a sound of their own. And talking about Husker Du it’s produced by no other then the living God Bob Mould.

Tracks

1. Powerload
2. Babysitter
3. Meat Factory
4. Guidance Councelor/Metamorphosis
5. Love Song


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Flag Of Democracy – Love Songs E.P. 7″

Relesed : 1984
Genre : Hardcore Punk
Label : Speed Of Sound Records, Re-released in 1990 as 8 Love Song, Blitzcore Records

Buzzaw guitar sound, Jelloish vocals and great song writing. I really don’t think James McMonagle tried to sound like Jello. He just happened to sound that way. Ahhh that yo yo yo yo middle part in Powerload give me shivvers everytime. Too bad the LP that came after this didn’t live up to the quality of this debute record.

Tracks

1. Powerload
2. Babysitter
3. Meat Factory
4. Guidance Councelor/Metamorphosis
5. Love Song


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Jerry’s Kidz – Well Fed Society E.P. 7″

Relesed : 1983
Genre : hardcore Punk
Label : Test Site

Quality wise it’s just as great as Bostons Jerry’s Kids but with their own twist to HC like they did it in the old days. Just rocking from start to finish. Outstanding production that’s not too far away from Zero Boys – Vicious Circle. You know ultra thin guitar sound so that the beefiness can be backed up by a dry thick bass. A classic that didn’t get much attention upon it’s release(?). At least I can’t remember hearing it back when or people recommending it. Strange.

Tracks

1. Marionetts
2. B.R.S.
3. That's Life
4. D.W.I.
5. Insanity


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Voodoo Idols - We Dig Nixon 7"

Relesed : 1982
Genre : Punk
Label : Vee Dee Records

Entertaining garage punk from Florida. If "Nixon" is a satire, it's a good commentary on gross ignorance; if not, these guys must have gotten A's in the right-wing "Americanism" course that all Florida high school students have to take in order to graduate. "Dead Air" is faster and considerably better.

Tracks

1. We Dig Nixon
2. Dead Air


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Stains - John Wayne Was A Nazi 7"

Relesed : 1981
Genre : Hardcore Punk
Label : R Radical Records

"John Wayne" is a tough song in the tradition of early LA hardcore, real harsh and gutteral. The B-side is tons better. Faster, grinding guitars, bashing drums and a great chorus: NO WAR, NO KKK, NO FASCIST USA. They changed their name to MDC Stains, so as not to be confused with the Stains from Los Angeles, who are also great.

Tracks

1. John Wayne Was A Nazi
2. Born To Die


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Slayer - Hell Awaits

Released : September 1985
Recorded : 1985 at Eldorado Studios in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California
Genre : Thrash metal
Length : 37:11
Label : Metal Blade
Producer : Slayer, Brian Slagel

When it was released in 1985, Slayer's second full album, Hell Awaits, seemed to many a nearly impenetrable cacophony of sound. However, it proved to be incredibly ahead of its time instead, and has since been confirmed as a mandatory item in the band's remarkable discography. Why? Well, despite its many memorable tunes, the songwriting on Slayer's 1983 debut, Show No Mercy, was firmly entrenched in blues-based punk/metal, and it wasn't until the following year's more excessive Haunting the Chapel EP that the band began adding the unusual arrangements, varying tempos, and dissonant nuances that paved the way to a wholly distinctive sound all their own. These experiments (rooted in the at once ingenious and ingenuous innovations of Venom's early work) were fleshed out even further on Hell Awaits; starting with the terrifying title track, continuing through the mesmerizing "At Dawn They Sleep," and arguably pushed over the limit of reason by the corrosive "Hardening of the Arteries." Here, the listener is introduced to a far more technical, almost progressive, side of Slayer -- a side never heard before and rarely since, for that matter. Meanwhile, comparatively straightforward thrashers like "Kill Again" and "Necrophiliac" made it plain that the group's love of pure speed remained intact, even if here, their sharp-edged riffs were often buried in overwhelming distortion. And perhaps most crucial of all, the musical backdrops unleashed by all the above (as well as equally worthy entries "Praise of Death" and "Crypts of Eternity") actually managed to inflict a true sense of horror and fear on par with their lyrics -- therefore marking Hell Awaits as the first album unmistakable as coming from anyone else but Slayer. True, it was ultimately eclipsed by its peerless successor, Reign in Blood (still largely considered the greatest thrash metal album ever recorded), as an irresistible force, but one could still make a confident point that Hell Awaits' uniquely daunting compositions arguably proved just as influential to future extreme metal acts.

Tracks

1. Hell Awaits
2. Kill Again
3. At Dawn They Sleep
4. Praise Of Death
5. Necrophiliac
6. Crypts Of Eternity
7. Hardening Of The Arteries


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http://www.4shared.com/file/EPLB4dd6/Slayer-_Hell_Awaits-1985.htm

Slayer - Seasons in the Abyss

Released : October 9, 1990
Recorded : January – June 1990 at Hit City West, Hollywood Sound, and Record Plant in Los Angeles, California, United States
Genre : Thrash metal
Length : 42:27
Label : Def American
Producer : Rick Rubin, Andy Wallace, Slayer

After staking out new territory with the underrated South of Heaven, Slayer brought back some of the pounding speed of Reign in Blood for their third major-label album, Seasons in the Abyss. Essentially, Seasons fuses its two predecessors, periodically kicking up the mid-tempo grooves of South of Heaven with manic bursts of aggression. "War Ensemble" and the title track each represented opposite sides of the coin, and they both earned Slayer their heaviest MTV airplay to date. In fact, Seasons in the Abyss is probably their most accessible album, displaying the full range of their abilities all in one place, with sharp, clean production. Since the band is refining rather than progressing or experimenting, Seasons doesn't have quite the freshness of its predecessors, but aside from that drawback, it's strong almost all the way from top to bottom (with perhaps one or two exceptions). Lyrically, the band rarely turns to demonic visions of the afterlife anymore, preferring instead to find tangible horror in real life -- war, murder, human weakness. There's even full-fledged social criticism, which should convince any doubters that Slayer aren't trying to promote the subjects they sing about. Like Metallica's Master of Puppets or Megadeth's Peace Sells...but Who's Buying, Seasons in the Abyss paints Reagan-era America as a cesspool of corruption and cruelty, and the music is as devilishly effective as ever.

Tracks

1. War Ensemble
2. Blood Red
3. Spirit In Black
4. Expendable Youth
5. Dead Skin Mask
6. Hallowed Point
7. Skeletons Of Society
8. Temptation
9. Born Of Fire
10.Seasons In The Abyss


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http://www.4shared.com/file/IkR6Te_i/Slayer_-_1990_Seasons_in_the_A.htm

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Slayer - South Of Heaven

Released : July 5, 1988
Recorded : December 1987-February 1988 at Hit City West, Los Angeles, California
Genre : Thrash metal
Length : 36:54
Label : Def Jam
Producer : Slayer, Rick Rubin

When it comes to death metal, no band is more convincing than Slayer. For other bands, focusing on death, Satanism, the supernatural, and the occult became a cliché; but Slayer's controversial reflections on evil always came across as honest and heartfelt. The group's sincerity is the thing that makes South of Heaven so disturbing and powerful -- when the influential thrashers rip into such morbid fare as "Spill the Blood," "Mandatory Suicide," and "Ghosts of War," they are frighteningly convincing. With their fourth album, Slayer began to slow their tempos without sacrificing an iota of heaviness or incorporating any pop elements. South of Heaven would be Slayer's last album for Def Jam.

Tracks

1. South Of Heaven
2. Silent Scream
3. Live Undead
4. Behind The Crooked Cross
5. Mandatory Suicide
6. Ghosts Of War
7. Read Between The Lies
8. Cleanse The Soul
9. Dissident Agressor
10.Spill The Blood


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http://www.4shared.com/file/uNVvUANO/Slayer_-_South_Of_Heaven_1988.htm

Slayer - Haunting The Chapel EP

Released : August 1984
Recorded : 1984
Genre : Thrash metal
Length : 13:27, 16:55 (Re-issue)
Label : Metal Blade Records, Enigma Records
Producer : Brian Slagel

Boasting the awesome "Chemical Warfare," a regular staple of Slayer's live shows, the Haunting the Chapel EP was a more crucial stepping stone in the legendary L.A. band's career development than many give it credit for. Issued in between the band's very promising debut and the following year's more sonically ripened Hell Awaits, Haunting the Chapel offers important clues about this transition period, which saw Slayer's rock-based song structures give way to the non-linear, genre-defining style thereafter regarded as thrash metal's signature sound. Among the uniformly solid cuts here, the enduring fan favorite "Captor of Sin" is another highlight, making this a well-recommended release for committed Slayer fans. [Some CD versions of Slayer's debut, Show No Mercy, now feature Haunting the Chapel songs as bonus tracks.]

Tracks

1. Chemical Warfare
2. Captor Of Sin
3. Haunting The Chapel
4. Aggressive Perfector


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http://www.4shared.com/file/q6ebNtU3/Slayer_-_1984_-_Haunting_The_C.htm

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

U.K. Subs - Brand New Age

Released : 1980
Date Recorded : Jan. 1980
Genre : Punk Rock
Label : Captain Oi Records

For their second album, Brand New Age, the U.K. Subs built on the frenzied, melodic assault of their debut by developing their songwriting skills. Brand New Age contains tracks that are more ambitious than those on the debut, with more variety and lyrical depth. Rather than the amusing teen angst rants of the debut, this album shows the Subs embracing a more political point of view. "Warhead" is a seething diatribe on nuclear war, delivered with the venom and ferocity such a topic deserves. "Organised Crime" rants about government oppression, and "Brand New Age" delivers a less than optimistic slant on the forthcoming privacy intrusions of the 1980s. There's no shortage of droll humor, though, with the hilarious "Teenage" and "Emotional Blackmail," the closest the Subs have come to a song about relationships. Musically, the band have grown as well. "Warhead" has a more complex song structure than anything they did before, and "You Can't Take It Anymore" proves the band doesn't have to rely on simple velocity to get their point across. Far from falling prey to the sophomore slump, the U.K. Subs came of age on this album and proved they were one of the best, most promising acts of their era.

Tracks

1. You Can't Take It Anymore
2. Brand New Age
3. Public Servant
4. Warhead
5. Barbies Dead
6. Organised Crime
7. Rat Race
8. Emotional Blackmail
9. Kicks
10.Teenage
11.Dirty Girls
12.500 CC
13.Bomb Factory
14.Emotional Blackmail II


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The Undead - Nine Toes Later EP

Released : June 25, 1982, 1983
Genre : Punk
Format : EP
Label : Stiff Records

9 Toes Later is the first release from Lodi, New Jersey punk band The Undead. Glenn Danzig of The Misfits helped the band finance the EP. It was originally released June 25, 1982 on Stiff Records. There were 1995 copies available. It was re-released in 1983 on Rosemary's Babies bassist Post Mortem's own record label, Post Mortem Records. 1000 copies was pressed of this version. Three early test pressings were also made, all of them owned by Bobby Steele. Bobby Steele had one of his toes amputated around the time of the recording, and there is were the title comes from.

Tracks

1. A Life Of Our Own
2. My Kinds Town
3. When The Evening Comes
4. I Want You Dead


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The Undead - Act Your Rage LP

Released : May 8, 1989
Recorded : 1984-1986
Genre : Punk rock
Label : Post Mortem/Forefront
Producer : Bobby Steele

Act Your Rage is a compilation album by American punk band The Undead. It was released May 8, 1989 on Post Mortem Records/Forefront Records. It featured unreleased songs recorded between 1984 and 1986. Most of the songs were recorded during the recordings of the Never Say Die single.

Tracks

1. Evening Of Desire
2. Hollywood Boulevard
3. Gimme Your Autograph
4. The Way We Behave
5. Eve Of Destruction
6. Undead
7. I Don't Wanna Go
8. We Don't Want The Poor In New York City
9. Social Reason
10.Put Your Clothes Back On
11.R.A.T.T. F.I.N.K.


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R.E.M. - Document

Released : September 1, 1987
Recorded : May 30 – May 2, 1987 at Sound Emporium, Nashville, Tennessee; mixed at Master Control, Los Angeles, California, United States
Genre : Alternative rock, jangle pop, pop rock
Length : 39:51
Label : I.R.S.
Producer : Scott Litt and R.E.M.

R.E.M. began to move toward mainstream record production on Lifes Rich Pageant, but they didn't have a commercial breakthrough until the following year's Document. Ironically, Document is a stranger, more varied album than its predecessor, but co-producer Scott Litt -- who would go on to produce every R.E.M. album in the following decade -- is a better conduit for the band than Don Gehman, giving the group a clean sound without sacrificing their enigmatic tendencies. "Finest Worksong," the stream-of-conscious rant "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)," and the surprise Top Ten single "The One I Love" all crackle with muscular rhythms and guitar riffs, but the real surprise is how political the mid-tempo jangle pop of "Welcome to the Occupation," "Disturbance at the Heron House," and "King of Birds" is. Where Lifes Rich Pageant sounded a bit like a party record, Document is a fiery statement, and its memorable melodies and riffs are made all the more indelible by its righteous anger. In other words, it's not only a commercial breakthrough, but a creative breakthrough as well, offering evidence of R.E.M.'s growing depth and maturity, and helping usher in the P.C. era in the process.

Tracks

1. Finest Worksong
2. Welcome To The Occupation
3. Exhuming McCarthy
4. Disturbance At The Heron House
5. Strange
6. It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)
7. The One I Love
8. Fireplace
9. Lightnin' Hopkins
10.King Of Birds
11.Oddfellows Local 151


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R.E.M. - Chronic Town

Released : August 24, 1982
Recorded : October 1981 and June 1982 at Drive-In Studios, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States
Genre : Alternative rock
Length : 20:26
Label : I.R.S.
Producer : Mitch Easter and R.E.M.

Chronic Town established R.E.M.'s signature sound immediately, expanding the jangling riffs of their debut single, "Radio Free Europe," into a full-fledged modus operandi. Recorded at Mitch Easter's Drive-In Studios, the EP has an endearingly ragged sound -- it's a garage band playing jangling pop songs, and while the music is melodic and memorable, it has an underground mentality that keeps it from sounding conventional. Not only does the lo-fi production keep the music underground, but so do Peter Buck's ringing arpeggios, Michael Stipe's incomprehensible mumbled vocals, and the band's amateurish enthusiasm. They might not be accomplished players, but already their songwriting is distinctive, with "Gardening at Night," "Wolves, Lower," and "Carnival of Sorts (Box Cars)" ranking as early classics.

Tracks

1. Wolves, Lower
2. Gardening At Night
3. Carnival Of Sorts (Box Cars)
4. 1,000,000
5. Stumble


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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

S.O.A. (State Of Alert) No Policy EP

Recorded : Inner Ear Studios, December 1980 and February 1981
Genre : Hardcore punk
Length : 8:20
Label : Dischord Records
Producer : Skipp Groff

A nascent Henry Rollins waxing hoarse about cops, fights, drug abuse, and girls while a gruff rudimentary thud slams by in the background is about as simple as it gets. But this simple slab of D.C. vinyl -- along with the first Teen Idles 7" -- greatly altered American punk up and down the East Coast as well as throughout the Midwest. The sonic emphasis for young bands shifted from Ramones/Sex Pistols imitation to a new kind of louder and faster music: hardcore. Additionally and maybe even more importantly, the fledgling Dischord Records that released No Policy inspired a proliferation of D.I.Y. labels that has since continued unabated. S.O.A. didn't invent hardcore -- Black Flag or Bad Brains might stake that claim -- but the band's stripped-down sound at the right time, together with the youthful scene from which S.O.A. emerged, help make No Policy a lasting document of influence.

Tracks

1. Lost in Space
2. Draw Blank
3. Girl Problems
4. Blackout
5. Gate Crashers
6. War Zone
7. Riot
8. Gang Fight
9. Public Defender
10.Gonna Have to Fight


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Middle Class - Out Of Vouge EP

Released : 1978
Recorded : Santa Ana, California, 1978
Genre : Punk rock, Hardcore punk
Length : 4:55
Label : Joke Records
Producer : Billy S. Star

Out of Vogue EP was the first record by punk band Middle Class. The record was distributed locally by independent label Joke Records in 1978, though received only small local success. The band has achieved more recognition in recent years, enough to be featured in the documentary American Hardcore in 2006. According to the documentary, vocalist Jeff Atta quoted that instead of learning instruments and adopting punk as a style, the band instead learned to play the first punk records, also relying on precision rather than perfection.
The record is barely ever regarded as the first hardcore punk record, Middle Class also never being regarded as the first hardcore punk band. The record is still being debated on whether it is the first hardcore record, competing with Black Flag's original 7" EP, Nervous Breakdown.

Tracks

1. Out Of Vogue
2. You Belong
3. Situations
4. Insurgence


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Jackshit - Hicktown EP

Released : 1984
Format : 7" EP
Genre : Country Punk
Label : Squirtdown Records

Another fun record, "Hicktown" is relative to any punk, Anytown, USA. Every song on the EP is great, lyrically, and at times off the wall. Country punk at its finest.

Tracks

1. Hicktown
2. We Still Like Drugs
3. Champagne for Breakfast
4. E.T. Go Home
5. Gimpy
6. Keys In the Car


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Government Issue - Make An Effort EP

Released : 1983
Format : 7" EP
Genre : Hardcore Punk
Label : Fountain Of Youth Records

This only has four songs, but boy do they blast! John Stabb sounds angrier than ever and Brian Baker's guitar playing is so raunchy and LOUD it's hard to believe he's in Bad Religion now... Maybe he was trying to compete with John Barry (who played guitar on the Legless Bull EP).
'Teenager In A Box', which is about a friend who died in a car accident age eighteen ('You were eighteen/now you're a statistic'), is one of the most intense hardcore songs ever if you ask me. Stabb sings it like he can't believe it really happened.
'No Way Out' and 'Twisted Views' may sound a little metallic (thanks to Brian Baker, who's never been ashamed of his metal influences, just listen to Dag Nasty), but even those songs match up to anything by top-notch hardcore bands like Negative Approach and Urban Waste and what have you.
Of course G.I. ends it all with one of many versions of their signature tune, 'Sheer Terror'. And yes, it's by far my favorite version. Ok, I like Legless Bull and Boycott Stabb as much as the next guy, but THIS record, to me, is what punkrock is all about.

Tracks

1. Teenager In a Box
2. No Way Out
3. Twisted Views
4. Sheer Terror


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Monday, February 7, 2011

Zounds - The Curse Of Zounds + Singles

Released : 1981, Re-Issue 1993
Date Recorded : Jun 5, 1980 - Jun 7, 1980
Genre : Anarcho-punk, Post punk
Label : Rugger Bugger Discs, Gap Recordings
Lenght : 76:00

Protégés of the Crass collective -- Penny Rimbaud produced their records, while Eve Libertine designed their sleeves -- Zounds forswore their mentors' deliberately primitive noise punk style in favor of a much cleaner, almost pop sound, that puts The Curse of Zounds in the same stylistic ballpark as many of the Factory Records bands of the era. Singer/songwriter Steve Lake's prominent basslines power the songs in the familiar post-Joy Division fashion, while Lawrence Wood and Nick Godwin's chunky guitar lines skitter around in a style reminiscent of the Au Pairs and Gang of Four. Lyrically provocative without descending into the usual cheap sloganeering, Lake's lyrics are engaging and sometimes quite funny, while the music is sure to appeal to any fan of British post-punk. The 1997 Broken Rekids reissue includes not only the full 1981 LP, but also the singles Zounds recorded for Crass around the same time.

Tracks

1. War
2. Can't Cheat Karma
3. Demystification
4. Great White Hunter
5. Fear
6. Did He Jump
7. Little Bit More
8. This Land
9. New Band
10.Dirty Squatters
11.Loads Of Noise
12.Target / Mr. Disney / War
13.Dancing
14.True Love
15.More Trouble
16.Knife
17.Biafra
18.Not Me
19.Fear
20.Wolves


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Released : 1985
Label : Island Records
Genre : New Wave
Producer : John Punter, Pete Glenister

Formed 1981 in Dunfermline Scotland, the Band got their first lucky break by having a night on Radio 1 with Annie Nightingale, the show was recorded at the origional REL Studios in Edinburgh and the Dunfermline studio of first Skids manager Mike Douglas aka "PANO" and heard by the Managing Directors of WEA Records in London, Max Hole and Mike Heap while driving home. WEA invited the Band down to London to discuss a recording deal, at that time the oldest member of the band was 16 the youngest being 13, they were tempted with the offer of working with producer Tony Visconti, sadly they never got to meet Mr Visconti .

Tracks

1. Smiles And Jokes (extended)
2. Seen From Above
3. How I Wish


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Red Flag - Naïve Art

Released : 1989
Genre : Synthpop
Length : 1:19:29
Label : Enigma Records
Producer : Paul Robb

The Liverpool duo Red Flag (brothers Chris and Mark Reynolds) released their debut album, Naïve Art, in 1989. Red Flag, like other late-'80s/early-'90s bands such as Camouflage and Cause & Effect, offer a similar mix of gloomy, synthesizer-driven dance-pop made popular by synth rock kings Depeche Mode. Derivative yet melodic, Naïve Art is a decent debut, though it eventually runs out of steam. Red Flag's obvious debt to Depeche Mode is immediately apparent in the minor club hits "If I Ever" and "Russian Radio." Though the production is a bit rough around the edges, the combination of cold synth beats and the emotionless vocal approach (similar to Depeche's Martin Gore) makes perfect dancefloor fodder for the disaffected goth pop club crowd. Like Depeche Mode's best work, what makes Naïve Art bearable is Red Flag's obvious gift of songcraft. Both "If I Ever" and "Russian Radio" are comparable to some of Depeche's best work, and although much of Naïve Art sounds the same after a while, the album flows along quite nicely. Those who criticize Depeche Mode for being pretentious and "wimpy" certainly won't find any redeeming qualities in Red Flag, but Naïve Art should satisfy fans of the genre. Recommended.

Tracks

1. If I Ever
2. Pretty In Pity
3. Russian Radio
4. Give Me Your Hand
5. All Roads Lead To You
6. Count To Three
7. Save Me Tonight
8. Broken Heart
9. I Don't Know Why
10.Rain
11.Für Michelle
12.If I Ever (Extended Remix)
13.Russian Radio (Razormaid Dub)
14.Broken Heart (Remix)
15.Rain (Remix)


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Minor Threat - Complete Discography

Released : 1989, 2003 (re-issue)
Recorded : 1981, 1983
Genre : Hardcore punk
Length : 47:10
Label : Dischord
Producer : Minor Threat

Complete Discography compiles Minor Threat's entire body of recordings on a single compact disc. Hardcore, as a rule, wasn't particularly musically diverse, but Minor Threat were one of the genre's groundbreaking acts and their music has held up better than most of their contemporaries. As the de facto leaders of the Washington, D.C., hardcore scene, the band pioneered the straight-edge mentality by emphasizing impossibly fast tempos, brief songs, political lyrics, and a drug- and alcohol-free lifestyle. Besides setting the precedent for several generations of punk rockers with their music and ideals, Minor Threat were simply a better band than most hardcore groups. They had a tight, distinctive sound that wasn't as heavy as their Californian counterparts and, therefore, were often more bracing and effective. Although some of the music on Complete Discography, like much of hardcore in general, hasn't aged particularly well -- with its cheap production, rigid song structures, and political concerns, it is very much a piece of the early '80s -- the sound remains invigorating; the band possessed a visceral energy matched by only a handful of their peers. Complete Discography, in fact, is not only one of the cornerstones of any hardcore collection, it's not a bad way to become acquainted with hardcore.

Tracks

1. Filler
2. I Don't Wanna Hear It
3. Seeing Red
4. Straight Edge
5. Small Man, Big Mouth
6. Screaming At A Wall
7. Bottled Violence
8. Minor Threat
9. Stand Up
10.12XU
11.In My Eyes
12.Out Of Step (With The World)
13.Guilty Of Being White
14.Steppin' Stone
15.Betray
16.It Follows
17.Think Again
18.Look Back And Laugh
19.Sob Story
20.No Reason
21.Little Friend
22.Out Of Step
23.Cashing In
24.Stumped
25.Good Guys (Don't Wear White)
26.Salad Days


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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Sham Pistols - What Have We Got

Released : 1988
Label : Link Records
Genre : Punk Rock

Way back in 1979 the merger of Sex Pistols with sham 69
caused' for a brief moment, a great deal of excitement. With Johnny now on P.I.L. and Sid is dead, both fans and the press waited eagerly for news on Steve and Paul's next move. By May '79 it seem the answer was known. The boys joined by Sham 69's Jimmy Pursey and Dave "Kermit" Treganna. Known for the time being as the Sham Pistols.

Tracks

1. What Have We Got
2. I Don't Wanna
3. Rip Off
4. Tell Us The Truth
5. Angels With Diry FAces
6. No One Is Innocent
7. Ulster Boy
8. They Don't Understand
9. Borstal Breakout
10.Hurry Up Harry
11.If The Kids Are United
12.Voices
13.Who Gives A Damn
14.Money
15.Day Tripper
16.You're A Better Man Than I
17.Question And Answer
18.Joey's On The Street Again
19.Borstal Breakout (reprise)
20. Hersham Boys
21. Pretty Vacant
22.White Riot
23.If The Kids Are United
24.What Have We Got


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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Creatures - A Bestiary Of

Released October : 1997
Recorded : May 1981
January : 1983
June : 1983
Genre : Alternative

The early Creatures material had fallen out of print in most locations for quite a while before Bestiary made its long overdue appearance. Only Feast had made a regular appearance in certain record stores thanks to Japanese pressings; Bestiary topped that by including the contents of the Wild Things and Right Now EPs as well as "Hot Springs in the Snow," the B-side from "Miss the Girl." The result collects everything originally put out in the first phase of the Creatures' existence, making for a convenient and very well remastered collection. No previously unreleased tracks or unexpected bonuses are included, but that's quibbling in comparison to finally having all the cuts available again. Full lyrics are included, as well as recording details, a brief series of informative liner notes, and even release dates and U.K. chart positions. Another bonus is the inclusion of all the original sleeve art for the various releases, including the notorious wet T-shirt in the shower shots for Wild Things (an alternate image from that session is the cover for the collection as a whole). The lovely cover for Feast, featuring Sioux wearing a striking native Hawaiian costume, appears in such a way that one can refold the booklet to make it the front cover, a nice option.

Tracks

1. Mad Eyed Screamer
2. So Unreal
3. But Not Them
4. Wild Thing
5. Thumb
6. Morning Dawning
7. Inoa'ole
8. Ice House
9. Dancing on Glass
10.Gecko
11.Sky Train
12.Festival of Colours
13.Miss the Girl
14.A Strutting Rooster
15.Flesh
16.Hot Springs in the Snow (B-side of "Miss The Girl" single)
17.Weathercade (B-side of "Right Now" single)
18.Right Now (A-side single)


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The Specials - The Specials

Released : October 1979
Recorded : Summer 1979 at TW Studios, London, Fulham
Genre : Ska, 2 Tone
Length : 45:11
Label : 2Tone Records
Producer : Elvis Costello and The Specials

A perfect moment in time captured on vinyl forever, such is the Specials' eponymous debut album; it arrived in shops in the middle of October 1979 and soared into the U.K. Top Five. It was an utter revelation -- except for anyone who had seen the band on-stage, for the album was at its core a studio recording of their live set, and at times even masquerades as a gig. There were some notable omissions: "Gangsters," for one, but that had already spun on 45, as well as the quartet of covers that would appear on their live Too Much Too Young EP in the new year. But the rest are all here, 14 songs' strong, mostly originals with a few covers of classics thrown in for good measure. That includes their fabulous take on Dandy Livingstone's "A Message to You Rudy," an equally stellar version of the Maytals' "Monkey Man," and the sizzling take on Prince Buster's "Too Hot." If those were fabulous, their own compositions were magnificent. The Specials managed to distill all the anger, disenchantment, and bitterness of the day straight into their music. The vicious "Nite Klub" -- with its unforgettable line, "All the girls are slags and the beer tastes just like piss" -- perfectly skewered every bad night the members had ever spent out on the town; "Blank Expression" extended the misery into unwelcoming pubs, while "Concrete Jungle" moved the action onto the streets, capturing the fear and violence that stalked the inner cities. And then it gets personal. "It's Up to You" throws down the gauntlets to those who disliked the group, its music, and its stance, while simultaneously acting as a rallying cry for supporters. "Too Much Too Young" shows the Specials' disdain for teen pregnancy and marriage; "Stupid Marriage" drags two such offenders before a Judge Dread-esque magistrate, with Terry Hall playing the outraged and sniping prosecutor; while "Little Bitch" is downright nasty. Those were polemics; "It Doesn't Make It Alright" reaches a hand out to listeners and, with conviction, delivers up a heartfelt plea against racism, but even this number contains a sharp sting in its tail. It's a bitter brew, aggressively delivered, with even the slower numbers sharply edged, and therefore the band wisely scattered sparkling covers across the album to help lift its mood. The set appropriately ends with the rocksteady-esque yearning of "You're Wondering Now," the song that invariably closed their live shows. Even though producer Elvis Costello gave the record a bright sound, it doesn't lighten the dark currents that run through the group's songs; if anything, his production heightens them. It's left to guests Rico Rodriguez and Dick Cuthell to provide a little Caribbean sun to the Specials' sound, their brass sweetening the flashes of anger and disaffection that sweep across the record. And so, this was Britain in late 1979, an unhappy island about to explode. This enhanced CD reissue includes the videos for "Gangsters" and "Too Much," true must-see TV.

Tracks

1. A Message To You Rudy
2. Do The Dog
3. It's Up To You
4. Nite Klub
5. Doesn't Make It Alright
6. Concrete Jungle
7. Too Hot
8. Monkey Man
9. (Dawning Of A) New Era
10.Blank Expression
11.Stupid Marriage
12.Too Much Too Young
13.Little Bitch
14.You're Wondering


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Reagan Youth - A Collection Of Pop Classic

Released : 1994
Recorded : 1984, 1990
Genre : Hardcore punk
Length : 60:09
Label : New Red Archives

A Collection of Pop Classics could easily pass for a white supremacist album with its cover shot of guitar-toting Klansmen and song titles like "The New Aryans." Skinheads will be disappointed to find that the album cover, as well as the band's name, are actually deeply ironic commentaries on Ronald Reagan's social and economic policies. The anthology collects Reagan Youth's two albums, Volume One (1984) and Volume Two (1990), on one disc. Volume One is a classic of the hardcore genre with abundant hooks, energy, and righteous fury. Reagan Youth's theme song declares, "We are Reagan Youth, sieg heil!" while blasting Reagan's followers as "brainwashed slime." "The New Aryans" proposes a "final solution" for Nazis and the KKK, and "I Hate Hate" takes a humorously circuitous swipe at negativity. "Are You Happy" and "No Class" critique conformity, authority, and the dominant culture, while "Degenerated" blasts drug use (which, in a further irony, eventually brought down lead singer Dave Insurgent.) The 1990 album finds Insurgent fronting a new group of players who sound as if they traded their hardcore record collection for a copy of Mötley Crüe's first album. The leftist politics remain, but the song title "Heavy Metal Shuffle" shows which way the band is heading. Buy A Collection of Pop Classics for Volume One, which offers more than enough value for the money.

Tracks

1. Reagan Youth
2. New Aryans
3. (Are You) Happy?
4. No Class
5. I Hate Hate
6. Degenerated
7. Go Nowhere
8. U S A
9. Anytown
10.In Dog We Trust
11.It's A Beautiful Day
12.Jesus Was A Communist
13.Urban Savages
14.What Will The Neighbors Think?
15.Get The Ruler Out
16.Brave New World
17.Miss Teen America
18.Heavy Metal Shuffle
19.Queen Babylon
20.Acid Rain
21.One Holy Bible
22.Back To The Garden (Parts I-IV)


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Various Artist - Cottage Cheese From The Lips Of Death (A Texas Hardcore Compilation)

Realesed : 1983
Genre : Harcore Punk
Label : Ward 9 Records
Lenght : 30:92

This is a really great compilation. There's good stuff from both the well-known bands and the more obscure ones. Really Red, DRI, and the Offenders, all at their peak, deliver 3 awesome hardcore songs - all available on other records, although at least the DRI song is a different version. My Dolls slow it down a bit with a sparse tune backed by tribal drumming and percussion. The woman singing has an Irish accent (not what I'd expect from a compilation of Texas bands...!). Not For Sale do a really fucking good Gang of Four-influenced song, very melodic and catchy. The Big Boys track could have come from their "Cafeteria" album. Slow and powerful, and excellent as always. I really like the lyrics to this one. Prenatal Lust, H.B. Experience, Marching Plague, and Bang Gang all play good rough hardcore punk, and the Butthole Surfers do a really raw, angry song about, um, how he hates his job. The only less-than-great stuff on this album are Stick Men with Rayguns and the Dicks, both too slow and a little too experimental to be very appealing. I'm also not too hot on the metal-influenced Watchtower song either... Overall, though, a very cool compilation.

Tracks

1. Really Red - Nobody Rules
2. DRI - Runnin' Around
3. The Offenders - Fight Back
4. My Dolls - Soldiers Of A Pure War
5. Not For Sale - Bread And Bombs
6. Big Boys - The Big Picture
7. Prenatal Lust - Entertainment Tonight
8. Stick Men With Rayguns - Christian Rat Attack
9. Hugh Beaumont Experience - Moo...
10.Marching Plague - Rock And Roll Asshole
11.I Butthole Surfers - Hate My Job
12.Bang Gang - Dickhead
13.The Dicks - Gilbeau
14.Watchtower - Meltdown


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