It’s not easy under any circumstance for a band to pick up pretty much where it left off when—for some reason or another—an entirely new lineup needs to be recruited. Add to the mix that the previous lineup was in itself a legendary powerhouse responsible for some of the finest punk rockin’ put to wax and the odds get better for you getting hit by a giant meteor made of salamander poop than it is to match, let alone top, your game. While These People does fall just shy of the benchmark set by previous works, it is by no means a bad album. More than anything else, I would say its shortcomings lie more in the production than songwriting or execution. Here, the thuddy sound that SST house producer Spot utilized to great effect in showcasing the band’s gritty blues undertow on Kill from the Heart is replaced with Klaus Fluoride’s more trebly sonic environment, one that worked well for Dead Kennedys, but here sounds much too sterile. One need look no further than the tracks from the Peace? single attached on this reissue to hear the difference. Outside of that, the album showcases a band that may not have quite exceeded the brilliance of the original lineup, but it handily picks up where their predecessors left off and—if this record serves as any indication—were on their way to some interesting uncharted waters had they not decided to throw in the towel. Bands with the fearlessness, and flat-out greatness, the Dicks displayed are hard to come by, and thanks are due to Alternative Tentacles for making their music again available.
–jimmy (Alternative Tentacles)