BHOPAL STIFFS: (1985-1989): CD

Before Larry Damore became the front man for the amazing-but-not-nearly-prolific-enough Pegboy, he was in a hardcore band called the Bhopal Stiffs. The Bhopal Stiffs wrote a ton of songs, put out a seven inch and an EP, recorded a demo, slid some songs on a few comps, recorded a live show and recorded themselves on the radio, and now all of that (28 songs, total) is available on this CD. I’ve got to admit that I’d never heard of the Bhopal Stiffs before this CD came out. I almost tossed it into the review pile, but then Todd pointed out that Larry was the singer, so I had to check it out. I was hooked. It’s definitely some good hardcore/punk. What’s interesting about this album, too, is that, because they include everything that the Bhopal Stiffs recorded and because the tracks go pretty much in chronological order, you can see how the band started off owing a lot to Minor Threat, but then gradually became more melodic and developed their own sound. The latter songs on the album almost sound like a lost Pegboy album, which is really cool. The recording quality varies, and, as with most reissues of ten-year-old material, some of the songs sound kind of dated. Hardcore has grown a lot since these songs were recorded. Still, these songs needed to be reissued and I’m glad I own this album.

 –sean (Harmless)