Saturday, August 23, 2008

V.A. - Not So Quiet On The Western Front (Remastered)

No, it ain't the music of back-woods hillbillies or lonesome cowboys out on the range, but it's no less authentic or expressive of a unique moment in American culture. Perhaps we are still too close to this era to recognize what a spontaneous and authentic musical phenomenon took place in the days before hardcore punk became mired in its own cliches and formulas. I myself was a part of this scene, and my band, the Church Police, is one of the 49 groups from California and Nevada that fill this CD. Not all of the bands, but many, were what I call "suburban subdivision bedroom bands," because that's where we played some of our best music and, in a few cases, where some of these recordings were made.
It's hard to imagine a compilation that could have done a better job at representing what was happening in the punk scene at the time. There are a few of the big name S.F. bands, the Dead Kennedys and Flipper, that were main players in that era, but they don't dominate the collection (though Flipper's cut is probably the longest.) Instead, what strikes me most vividly now is the fresh sound and brashness of these bands. It's kind of funny listening to them, such a blend of hyped emotions, serious anger and alienation, but tempered by irony because most of the bands knew that they really weren't gonna go anywhere as far as a "career" was concerned. We were as interested in getting into the shows for free ("put me on your guest list!") and maybe winding up the night with 25 or 50 bucks in our pockets after all was said and done. You gotta love the spontaneity and craziness that these kids brought to their music. It would be incredible to have a reunion of these bands, not that too many of them are doing much with music these days, I imagine. I don't listen to a whole lot of underground hardcore these days, but if you want a top-notch sampler of the "real stuff" I recommend this without reservation.
~~ David Blakeslee, Wyoming

1. intensified chaos [intensified chaos]
2. their mistakes [social unrest]
3. dan with the mellow hair [naked lady wrestlers]
4. holocaust [M&D]
5. rich plastic people [killjoy]
6. fun with acid [fang]
7. el salvador [capitol punishment]
8. collapse [ribsy]
9. annihilation [crucifix]
10. i don't wanna die for my country [square cools]
11. pay salvation [los olvidados]
12. what price will you pay? [code of honor]
13. fuck your amerika [7 seconds]
14. race war [unaware]
15. turmoil [frigidettes]
16. don't conform [5th column]
17. shrunken heads [ghost dance]
18. a child and his lawn mower [dead kennedys]
19. all i know [rebel truth]
20. learning process [pariah]
21. reagum [lennonburger]
22. praise the lord and pass the ammunition [impatient youth]
23. gdmfsob [bad posture]
24. assassination attempt [demented youth]
25. the only good cop... [millions of dead cop]
26. the few, the proud, the dead [karnage]
27. scare [domino theory]
28. dead porker [nazi bitch and the jews]
29. human farm [whipping boy]
30. worker bee [angst]
31. premature enlistment [free beer]
32. sacrifice [flipper]
33. no one listens [vengeance]
34. s&m nightmare [juvenile justice]
35. fat, drunk & stupid [section 8]
36. libyan hit squad [tongue avulsion]
37. off to war [maniax]
38. strike out [vicious circle]
39. breakout [uxb]
40. shitcan [scapegoats]
41. the oven is my friend [church police]
42. systems suck [deadly reign]
43. dead men tell no tales [no alternative]
44. punk is an attitude [wrecks]
45. slt [urban assault]
46. no more riots [bent nails]
47. new left [mia]

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Baltobrat said...

Happy memories. Still have this in the basement, and the tunes vividly imprinted in my brain. My faves are dan with the mellow hair, shrunken heads, and race war. Thanks for the post.

Michael said...

I remember buying this double vinyl in 1986 on Yonge St. in Toronto. This is a fantastic album—22 years later it's on my iPod. Great post, great to hear you were in one of the bands on this collection, and great to hear you still love punk rock.

Nagiants40 said...

Great comments baltobrast and Michael.. and YES.. I still loves punk rock after 27 years listening.. yeah :-))

G O D said...

buy the 30th anniversary tribute cd here: