PEER GROUP: Rhetoric and Hands: 7” EP

Sep 18, 2013

I’m often exasperated at the myopia that plagues L.A. punk history. So many creative people, bands, and musical experiments get lost in the shuffle and the populace is treated to yet another Circle Jerks or Black Flag reissue while mountains of wicked cool stuff collects dust in some dank corner, unknown and criminally unloved. Water Under The Bridge has been kind enough to shine a little light into San Pedro punk’s historical dark corners, (re)issuing crucial recordings by the Reactionaries, Minutemen, Saccharine Trust and the release currently under discussion. An obscure act (my recollection is one track on an SST comp and that’s about it), this, along with the four tracks included with the complementary MP3 download code, comprise the sum of their oeuvre, with what’s on wax apparently being an EP that New Alliance never quite got around to releasing back in 1981. The sound is somewhere between the erudite, flanneled “Thinkin’ Joe” hardcore of the Minutemen and the art-punk minimalism of 100 Flowers, translating into “aggressive but still pretty goddamned weird.” Being old enough to remember and appreciate the musical melting pot L.A. punk once was, it’s great to see/hear some lesser-known talent getting some long-overdue love.

 –jimmy (Water Under The Bridge,