BEOWULF: The Re-Releases: CD

This is what I know. The Venice, CA based band was part of the Suicidal Tendencies circle which included the Neighborhood Watch, No Mercy, Rim Pests, Excel, and others. They even had a sub-gang of friends under that circle. Growing up in the area and into punk, I knew many who were affiliated with ST guys and even went to school with some of them. At one point, I was asked to play in one of the brother bands. I turned them down when the person I was supposed to replace got stabbed for claiming the band name. That was a little too much for me. The band first released two tracks on the Welcome to Venice comp that was put out by Suicidal Records. Soon after, they released their self-titled LP. I believe it was around ‘85-’86. I remember my brother giving that LP a favorable review in Flipside magazine and getting a ton of hate mail for it. I personally didn’t think much of it at the time when I first heard it. I do remember that it sounded like Motörhead to me. They released their second LP, Lost My Head… in ‘88 on Caroline. Maybe listened to the whole album a couple of times, but my favorite was the Smokey Robinson cover of “Cruisin’.” I loved that it was metal and it kind of got thrashy at the end. The first two LPs are compiled here. I believe this is a legit reissue. But I swear that I heard some record pops here and there on the tracks from the first LP. I guess the masters are gone. The music is what I remember, very Motörhead-ish. But what I might have been bugged by back then does not bug me now. The lyrics are very macho and misogynist in nature. That kind of stuff is what I was trying to get away from when I got into punk. So the lyrics, listening to them now, just rub me the wrong way. That’s a shame because the music they created was pretty kick-ass.

 –don (I Scream)