JUDGE: What It Meant, the Complete Discography: CD

Funny, but after all these, years I still can’t help but think of Crucial Youth’s parodying of the whole “hardline” straight edge thing when I put this on, and I soon find myself singing “I’ve got a positive dental outlook” and “if you don’t shave clean, you’re not in the scene” at the top of my lungs, which is, of course, not what’s coming out of the speakers. Judge was one of those late ‘80s straight edge bands that just seemed to be flogging a plenty dead horse by the time they came along, and nearly two decades later, they sound just about as stale, with all their big, gruff talk about their crew and looking down on people for doing drugs, and yet apparently seeing no irony in embedding more than a little metal riffage into their sound and even covering Led Zeppelin. It’s not that I had/have anything against straight edge as a philosophy, but its more puritanical adherents, with their virulent self-righteousness and fashion sense inspired by Catholic school jocks, hold a special place in my heart, right next to dungbeetles, the Bush family, moco sculptures and born-again Christians. Subsequently, any band that aligns themselves with any group of Neanderthals who think that beating someone up will keep them from getting high is not gonna rate very high around these parts, as some of us are of the belief that such attitudes and actions run contrary to the whole punk ethic. Anyway, if you’re into this late period “youth crew” tripe you’ll be happy to know you can now play their entire recorded output while you’re getting ready for the evening’s brainwashing session at the local Krishna temple without having to stop once to change the record.

 –jimmy (Revelation)