Here is the CLASSIC 1982 LP compilation 'American Youth Report', originally on BOMP Records.
This was actually one of the first hardcore punk compilations I ever bought, finding it in a second-hand record shop (sadly no more) in my home city and being intrigued by the cover and the inclusion of some bands I already knew (BAD RELIGION, TSOL, MINUTEMEN etc). In my humble opinion, this record is up there amongst the great hardcore compilations. Like most good comps it exists as a sort of time-capsule, archiving what was happening at a specific time in a specific place, in this case the early emerging LA scene (the important bands that followed the original trailblazers like FLAG, CIRCLE JERKS, X etc). Each song sounds similar, in that you can tell all the bands are from California, and it therefore encapsulates the style of the region (in the same way that 'This Is Boston Not LA' captured Boston's sound, and 'Flex Your Head' captured the DC sound). It manages to bring together 16 songs from 16 bands, some classic acts and some often overlooked. The weaker tracks are still great, I seriously don't think there's a bad band on it! (feel free to argue this point with me.)
The photo on the back, of a fucked up kid with a spray painted shirt and work boots (see below), and the photo on the front of a punk with "lobotomy" tattood on his head with a dotted line underneath his mohawk, really "spoke" to me at the time as a young angry punk. I knew I had to buy it... Even the photos on the insert really added to the whole experience: RF7 hanging out in a graveyard, BAD RELIGION goofing around, FLESHEATERS and HYPNOTICS looking like they just came off the set of RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD (incidently FLESHEATERS actually appeared on this film's soundtrack)... This comp really helped open my eyes to the origins of 'American Hardcore', where not all of the bands wore the same uniform as each other, or sounded like any of the 90s hardcore bands I had been exposed to. There were real differences between the bands, they had their own styles going on (some to more of an extent than others). The suble use of an organ on the RHINO 39 song, and the simple use of piano on 'Tell Me Why' by M.I.A. are testament to the influence of 60s garage and other styels on these bands. It's odd to think that, at the time this was originally released, all the bands were creating a fresh exciting sound, new and vital. Even though 26 years have passed, thankfully records like this do manage to capture that original enthusiasm of hardcore, in sound, that can't be matched...
A real gem on this record is the LEGAL WEAPON song 'Pow Pow', an often overlooked female-fronted band from LA. While they borrow a lot from bands like THE AVENGERS or THE BAGS (sidenote: has anyone else noticed how much REM's 'Losing My Religion' rips off the chorus of 'Prowlers In The Night' by THE BAGS. Listen to it now, you'll see what I mean), and didn't form til later on and thus probably didn't quite fit in with the emerging hardcore bands who would thrash faster and shout louder, I still really like this band's early records. Another gem is the HYPNOTICS song, a band I know very little about other than that their singer was called Marky De Sade and he was supposed to be a wild and entertaining frontman. They did a lot of creepy sick songs, and sounded not unlike THE LEWD or ANGRY SAMOANS: check out their 1982 LP 'Indoor Fiends'. I also want to mention the funny lyrics of the RF7 song, which I didn't realise were a joke when I first heard them: "You can worship satan, any asshole can. But even he can't save you, when the judgement day's at hand. Remember, Jesus loves you, so don't be fooled by Bad Religion". Plus, it's got an obligatory 80s hardcore tune about ol' Ronnie Reagan by SHATTERED FAITH.
Anyway, here's the full tracklisting. This comp was the first time I heard classics like 'I'm Not A Loser', 'Only Gonna Die' and 'Working Men Are Pissed'...Fucking classic.
1. MODERN WARFARE "One For All"
2. BAD RELIGION "Only Gonna Die"
3. CHANNEL 3 "Catholic Boy"
4. ADOLESCENTS "Losing Battle"
5. LOST CAUSE "Born Dead"
6. LEGAL WEAPON "Pow Pow"
7. FLESHEATERS "Pony Dress"
8. RHINO 39 "J. Alfred"
9. HYPNOTICS "Weird People"
10. DESCENDENTS "I'm Not A Loser"
11. M.I.A. "Tell Me Why"
12. T.S.O.L. "Sounds Of Laughter"
13. SHATTERED FAITH "Reagan Country"
14. MINUTEMEN "Working Men Are Pissed"
15. RF7 "Jesus Loves You"
16. RED KROSS "Notes & Chords Mean Nothing To Me"
And here are the results of this week's poll, for favourite early 80s Midwest hardcore band. I didn't include NEGATIVE APPROACH to make things more interesting as I figured they would get the most votes and automatically win. The joint winners are HÜSKER DÜ and DIE KREUZEN, worthy choices. I voted for DIE KREUZEN, and would have voted for ARTICLES OF FAITH as second choice (they did in fact come 2nd). I AM surprised by the very few votes for NECROS though; as if anyone prefers CLITBOYS to them! Insanity.
Articles of Faith
Spike In Vain
Votes in total: 69