BIG BOYS: Wreck Collection: CD

Sweet Jesus, I don’t even know where to begin with this ’un…. This is a retooling, rather than a reissue, of a posthumous release by this Austin, Texas monster of a band, originally put out by legendary punk producer Spot on his No Auditions label back in 1987 or so. A whole slew of rare live, comp and otherwise previously unreleased tracks have been tacked onto what was already and damn near perfect album, making the whole deal that much sweeter. If, by some fundamental flaw in the space-time continuum, you’ve never heard of the Big Boys, do yourself a favor and buy everything you can find by them, starting with this album, as it serves nicely as an introduction to a band that impacted everyone that crossed their path, from Minor Threat to Black Flag to X to the Red Hot Chili Peppers and beyond. This was a band that transcended all the stale boundaries the hairless hardcore hordes were already imposing on punk rock by the early- to mid-’80s and made some jaw-dropping good music that cut a wide swath across every genre available to them at the time, a band that could follow up a hail of thrash beats with a Kool and the Gang cover without batting an eye, a band that could make you think while you shook your tail feather, a band that actively searched out the best ditches to skate and encouraged others to “start your own band.” Pick up a copy and file it under “essential listening.”

 –jimmy (Gern Blandsten)