JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT: Fade to Black: CD

This is supposedly the first in a series of discs highlighting Arizona’s treasure trove of “lost” bands, and it is one hell of a way to start things off. This album, first released back in 1984, is a gem of ‘80s hardcore punk rock with a gaggle of dark, catchy-as-hell mid-tempo hardcore done up in ways one rarely hears anymore. According to the press materials, it was recorded on a two track which is mind-boggling considering how well it came out. There’s nary a lousy track to be found here, and if the album ain’t enough, a soundboard recording of a live set is tacked on the end for good measure. Now, I highly recommend that all reading this inundate Malt Soda with letters requesting that they offer up Conflict’s (the Tucson band, not the UK hippie punks) sole album, Mighty Sphincter’s Ghost Walking double EP (hell, almost anything from Placebo’s back catalog would be swell) and anything they can manage to scrape up from Soilent Green. Trust me, you’ll thank me for it later.

 –jimmy (Malt Soda)