FORCED FAILURE: Self-titled: CD-R

When one thinks of Arcata (in Humboldt County), California, visions of hairy people, the pungent stench of patchouli, and blurry memories of quality buds come to mind, rather than punk rock. True, it was once home to Brew ‘n’ Beats, a fairly nice bar with a fairly eclectic booking policy, but the thought of a scene of thrash-happy kids taking root there was kinda remote, although apparently that was an incorrect assumption. To wit: this disc, a demo from a bonafide hardcore punk band from Arcata, was passed on to my courtesy of East L.A. punk legend Morgan Hunt, who while living down here in the early ‘80s, did time as a writer for Ink Disease as well as putting out his own zine, Multiplication of the Typical Joe, and as singer/guitarist for the sorely missed A.D. Do. He seems to have kept up with his old days as a rambunctious punker and has now added drums to his repertoire of instruments played. True to form, this is steeped in enough ‘80s influence to look (check the Agression-esque skull skater on the cover) and sound (is that some early Die Kreuzen quirkiness I hear in there?) familiar, but not so much that it sounds like some fawning rehash circle jerk. The beats are kept mostly at a driving pace and the band smashes along with enough conviction to keep things interesting. In all, it’s a fine debut and, hopefully, a good indicator of even finer things to come.

 –jimmy (www.myspace.com/forcedfailure)