CHANNEL 3: I’ve Got a Gun / After the Lights Go Out: CD

Jul 23, 2007

Back when I was a kid, Channel 3 was one of them bands everybody seemed to love to hate in L.A., and I could never figure out why. I’m figuring most of that ire was based on some sorta jealousy at their being signed to Posh Boy or something, ‘cause it certainly wasn’t the music they was peddlin’. Nearly all of the music they produced during the early part of the ‘80s—their eponymous (a high-fallutin’ rock crit word meaning “self-titled.” One must occasionally throw in such words or they kick you out of the union) 12-inch EP, the Fear of Life LP and the After the Lights Go Out LP—was prime-grade, impassioned Southern California hardcore punk that is simultaneously typical for its time period and somehow timeless, as evidenced by the popularity of the band’s songs and the numerous times and ways it has been repackaged. The tracks from all the aforementioned records are here (although the order of the earlier tracks follows the U.K. I’ve Got a Gun release, which means the most of the EP and Fear of Life tracks are mixed up together and sequenced differently), along with the remaining U.S.-released tracks that didn’t make the original U.K. pressings, an odd B-side and comp rarity, so what you get is essentially all the essentials a fan would need. Suffice it to say that despite what others said back then, I was always an unabashed fan of these kids and remain so, and if, after listening to this ‘til it melts in your player, you find you need more, I highly recommend their most recent effort on Dr. Strange as your next purchase, as it’s easily the next best thing to the stuff here.

 –jimmy (Captain Oi)