Thursday, September 11, 2008

Classic Comps vol. 1- This Is Boston Not L.A.

I've decided to do a new thing here with this blog. Compilations have been an important part of the Hardcore/ Punk scene since the early days before Myspace and internet blogs, when it was much harder to get your music out there. Compilations were generally focused on a certain scene, and when done right, highlighted that scene's best bands. So for your reading pleasure: This is Boston Not L.A.

The origin of the compilation stems from the old Boston Crew of bands like SSD and DYS. There were a bunch of bands who came from a slightly later time after both of those bands became douche bags and wrote shitty rock LPs. They wanted to prove that there were still good bands in Boston, and I believe the record label Modern Method was associated with Newberry Comics in some way as well. I like that this comp has multiple songs by each band for the most part, it's almost like a 7 way split LP. I should also note that this is is sort of a sequel to the Unsafe at Any Speed compilation 7", which featured many of these bands. There was a CD and recent vinyl bootleg that contained both records together.

Jerry's Kids
1. Straight Jacket
2. Uncontrollable
3. Wired
4. Desperate
5. Pressure
6. I Don't Wanna

Damnit if this record doesn't start off right. Straight Jacket is pretty much a textbook definition hardcore song. Short, angry, fast... perfect! The next song Uncontrollable is fucking great too. This definitely catches Jerry's Kids' best; they also went on to do a killer LP called "Is This My World."

7. Options
8. Religion Is the Opium of the Masses
9. Allegiance

This band I'm not too familiar with outside of this comp. I know they have 2 LPs, and Taang did a 2xCD discography for them a few years back. Their sound seems to be UK inspired, and the singer even seems to have an accent. Options is a great song with great lyrics. "Military service/ Factory employment/ Welfare assistance/ Tell me the options."

10. Angel

Aside from this song, I don't think much from them exists aside from a demo. I had read somewhere that some label was releasing the unheard sessions from this recording. It'll probably be awesome. Angel is a pretty good mid paced hardcore song. The lyrics are raw and screamed over somewhat monotone music. Their song Empty Skull on the Unsafe at any Speed comp is great too.

The F.U.'s
11. Preskool Dropout
12. Radio Unix USA
13. Green Beret
14. Time Is Money

The F.U.'s are a great band, but this isn't really their best material. They have the distinguished resume of releasing not one, but 2 great LPs. Kill for Christ is pretty awesome, but My America is definitely my favorite of the 2. This is definitely some early material, but don't write off this band based off these songs. Radio Unix USA is their best on here, and hints at their later speed.

Gang Green
15. Snob
16. Lie Lie
17. I Don't Know
18. Rabies
19. Narrow Mind
20. Kill a Commie
21. Have Fun

In my mind, this is basically Gang Green's discography. These songs are fucking great, but their later stuff was more in line w/ other Boston bands, going in a more rock/metal direction. The band definitely peaked early. Rabies is a classic hardcore song. Not much to it, but it's still awesome. "I have rabies, stay away from me." Kill a Commie was their attempt at a political song, and it rips too.

22. Slam

Fuck, I don't know if this band ever even wrote another song, but you don't need to when you write a ripper like this. It's not that fast, it's not complex, it's the same 3 chords throughout the whole song, and the lyrics aren't going to change the world. It's just a song about fucking slam dancing. Interesting fun fact: Mtv used this song in their classic "Santa Claus- the man, the myth, the slam dancer" commercials back in the day.

The Freeze
23. Broken Bones
24. Idiots at Happy Hour
25. Now or Never
26. Sacrifice Not Suicide
27. It's Only Alcohol
28. Trouble If You Hide
29. Time Bomb
30. This Is Boston, Not L.A.

Closing out the comp is the Freeze, who were actually from Cape Cod. The Freeze went on to do a lot of records, some of which are quite good too. There's a few kinda crappy songs in this bunch though like It's Only Alcohol, and Time Bomb. Broken Bones, Trouble if you Hide and Idiots at Happy Hour are all awesome raw punk songs. The comp ends perfectly with the title track, which is a 30 second long thrasher. "You dance the same / you dress the same/ it won’t be long til you are the same/ you look the same/ and act the same/ it’s nothing new and you’re to blame/ this is Boston, not L.A."

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