OFFENDERS: Wanted by Authority 1981-1985: CD

The Offenders are a litmus test, like Articles of Faith, N.O.T.A., Die Kreuzen, Flag of Democracy, and Really Red. If you have more than just a passing interest in original ‘80s punk and hardcore that flew under the national radar of bigger bands like MDC, Minor Threat, and the Dead Kennedys it’s difficult not to respect and really enjoy the Offenders. The proof’s in the music, pure and simple. They’re definitely hardcore, but they experiment with its edges without compromising what makes this type of music so powerful. Like most early great punk bands, the Offenders broke up early and members either went to jail, or into other bands (like DRI, Poison 13, and The Hickoids). A lot of their vinyl is now expensive, if you can even find it. Kangaroo’s done a great service of collecting most of the band’s output (two 7”s, an EP, and two LPs) and plopping it onto CD. Well worth seeking out.

 –todd (Kangaroo)