DISSENSION: Why Work for Death/We the Fooled: CD

Been a bit of local buzz about these cats of late for a couple o’ reasons, the first being this disc. For those short on long-term memory or just weren’t around thirty years ago, Dissension were a Long Beach, California hardcore band known for a specific brand of zippy thrash very popular in the mid-’80s. They, along with Final Conflict (and maybe Uniform Choice), seemed to be ubiquitous on Fenders Ballroom lineups when that violent-and-hot-as-fuck joint was thee dive du jour in L.A. punkdom. Collected here are their two albums, originally released in 1986 and 1988, in all their breakneck glory, providing the soundtrack for innumerable memories of gang fights, dangling from the beam hanging over Fenders’ stage, underage drinking (the flash memory of too many nights shotgunning alternate gulps of cheap vodka and Donald Duck orange juice in a nearby alley still makes my stomach turn), not-so-clandestine sex, assorted teenage traumas and dramas, violent Samoan bouncers, violent skin/punk bouncers, sweating buckets inside then stepping out into mid-winter weather, and some truly classic gigs. If yer a fan of hardcore, these bad boys more than hold up to the test of time and are definitely worth your dime. The other reason there’s been buzz is that they are apparently again making the gig rounds. If they’re anything remotely on par with what they were back then, I can say with some confidence they’re more than worth the effort to see ‘em. Kudos to Bad Idea for making this stuff available again.

 –jimmy (Bad Idea)