I know that I am a broken record when it comes to spouting off about the rich history of punk rock in Canada. I can’t help it. I obsess over it. From the well-known to the obscure, I love to learn about it all and records like this are a perfect way to fill my needs. The Dishrags were the first punk rock band from Victoria, BC (where I live). Three girls formed a band at the end of 1976, heard the Ramones, were changed forever, and by mid-1977 were in Vancouver to open for The Furies at that city’s very first punk show. By the end of 1979, the original group had disbanded with only their track on the Vancouver Complication compilation and a 7” single on Modern Records. They would continue as a quartet for one more 7”, but that is another story. Another original punk rock band lost to the sands of time… Almost. This record is made up of various unreleased studio recordings as well as some good quality live recordings (including their opening slot for The Clash in 1979). It’s raw, primal punk that sounds amazing! Often these “unearthed tracks” kind of records end up sounding exactly like that, but not this. So good! The record also comes with a nice booklet full of photos, gig posters, and quotes from The Dishrags and those close to them. There were two parts of this record that really made me smile. The first one is the live song intro “This song is called ‘Bullshit,’ and it’s dedicated to our hometown of Victoria.” Classic! The second, I have to ask: How tough do you have to be to finish your set with a ripping version of “London’s Burning” when you are opening for The Clash? Tougher than you and me!
–ty (Supreme Echo)