I was gonna go on some blathery spiel about how these Australians—best known for “Adolph, You Beauty!” i’d imagine—were the quintessential KBD band, when i realized that i hadn’t listened to the original first few “Killed By Death” albums since i had ‘em taped for purposes of listening to in my car whilst delivering pizzas twenty years ago, thus I should probably research this claim a bit, thus i looked up the contents of the first KBD comps, and, slap me silly and shoot the horse, these guys ain’t on ‘em, so what the fuck do i know anyway, and, without using examples, could i even define what it meant to be “KBD punk?” Sure, i’ll ‘ave a bash: “KBD punk” = the prevailing flavor of late 70’s/very early 80’s low-budget DIY punk, from the US and/or Canada but not England and/or the UK but possibly from Australia and/or New Zealand, that followed in the wake of the popular, major labelly stuff, but preceded the advent of hardcore as the dominant punkly paradigm. I’m not exactly sure why the sounds of the KBD era can’t be replicated, faked, or successfully imitated—given that the recordings of the era require no particularly special gear or period-specific talents—but, oddly, they can’t. Only the gen-u-wine article sounds like the gen-u-wine article, and i’ll submit to you that no article sounds gen-u-winer than the Chosen Few. These half a dozen songs, originally released in 1978, have stood the test of time, have seeped into our punkly collective consciousness, and will cling there, permanently, like a bacterial booger-mass, adhered forever to our cranial forecavity. I claim this because, if the Chosen Few weren’t on the original KBD albums, then i’m not really sure whence i know songs like “Adolph, You Beauty!” and “T.A.L.O.I.G.A.”—only that i do, indeed, know them quite well. A prudent observer might note that the presence of significant guitar leadage in this artifact indicates that the subjects were still running early influences like Blue Oyster Cult ((and whatever Michigan stuff Deniz Tek brought to the barbie)) thru the sonic reducer that was the first Ramones album, as opposed to the punkly situation of a few years later, where bands were running early influences like the Ramones thru the sonic reducers that were the first Circle Jerks or S.O.A. Records. There might be a lot of it going around, but a wise man gets whilst the gettin’s good. BEST SONG: “T.A.L.O.I.G.A.” BEST SONG TITLE: “(Do The Manic) To Kill Or Maim, Honey!” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: The actual label of the record makes use of both a zig-zag, AND the Lower West Side “shatter” font, the means by which we eventually DESTROYED THE SEVENTIES UTTERLY!!!
–norb (Going Underground)