LOS OLVIDADOS: Listen to This!!!: CD

May 27, 2009

Listen to This!!! is on par with the release of the Cheifs' Hollywest Crisis several years back. Los Olvidados were an insanely talented, visceral and dead-on spastic Sacramento band that was – shamefully – all but forgotten except by old fans, bands that played with them (like Black Flag), record collectors, and folks who remember their track on All's Quiet on the Western Front. Like the Cheifs, at the band's creative peak, they never released an LP, just a smattering of comp tracks. (And this becomes curiouser, due to the fact that all of these songs were recorded in solely two different studios from '81-'83. It's never explained why there's been a two decade lapse in putting these thirteen songs together in one bunch.) Make no mistake, this isn't just a worn out ticket to establish you, or them, some cred. The music's amazing. It's diverse and tries many tacks, but never looses intensity and power. It's a charging prototype that melds the eastern punk fuck and sleaze of the Dead Boys and Heartbreakers (especially in the vocals and guitar) transitioning against early Bad Religion and JFA (especially in the bass and drums). They don't avoid fast bits but they don't live and die by 'em, either, which gives them more depth. I'll be the last to say there's nothing good coming out today, but sometimes it's nice to look back and realize, woah, fuck, that's some excellent shit from the early '80s that still stands tall today. Complaints? Yeah, with the booklet, put in the lyrics, list the comps they were on (like the Thrasher SkateRock, vols. 1 and 2, and that's the top of my head), and it'd also be nice to know what connection they have to skating, since it's labeled as Skate Punk, Volume Two. From what I can get, they seem like punks who were skate-friendly, not pro skaters, like The Faction, who started a punk band.  –todd (Alternative Tentacles)

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