ADRENALIN O.D.: Humongousfungusamongus Millennium Edition: LP

I’ve always liked this album. By 1986, most of the leading lights of the early ’80s hardcore scene had moved on to sonically lusher pastures, but AOD stayed behind to steer the ship and figure out where we could go with a musical format that was constantly signaling increasing proximity to a dead end. In some quarters, this is interpreted as the birth of punk/metal “crossover,” but I see it more as them trying to figure out something new-ish and cool-ish and innovative-ish to do in a genre that didn’t come equipped with a ton of standard options for post-market alterations. And when you lead your musical career off with “Paul’s Not Home,” where exactly are you supposed to go from there anyway?? Be that as it may, the songs that have always stuck with me from this record—the ones I played on my college radio show on a weekly basis—were the songs from the other side of the AOD emotional spectrum, the straight-up poppy stuff: The Spaghetti-O’s jingle, their brilliant rip-through of the Masterpiece Theatre theme, their somewhat less woke pummeling of “Hava Nagila,” and the album’s closer and spiritual centerpiece, “The Nice Song,” which both heralded and presaged the pop punk explosion soon to come. Judge this album as you will, but I see it as the last hardcore record worth owning. So there. BEST SONG “Masterpiece.” BEST SONG NOT ORIGINALLY WRITTEN BY A FRENCH COMPOSER IN 1729 AND BEST SONG TITLE: “The Nice Song (In the Key of D).” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: The deal on the cover photo is that everyone was supposed to show up to the photo shoot wearing the dumbest-looking thing they could find. Nice Germs shirt, Bruce. –Rev. Nørb (Beer City, beercity.com)