RAW POWER: Screams from the Gutter/After Your Brain: CD

Nov 17, 2011

Weird time, the ‘80s. Dunno if the same rings true for the average American punker of today, but back then it seemed that a good chunk of the mohwawked masses were tuned in to what their brethren in other states and countries were doing. I know that many of us in East Los were Weird time, the ‘80s. Dunno if the same rings true for the average just as aware of bands like Mob 47, Indigesti, Solución Mortal, Gism, as we were Minor Threat, Big Boys, Hüsker Dü, and so on. Italy’s Raw Power was one of the heavyweights on the ‘80s international punk scene, thanks in no small part to their mind-blowing track “Fuck Authority” on MRR’s seminal Welcome to 1984 compilation, and their Screams from the Gutter LP originally (and still on—Westworld is effectively the same label) released by Toxic Shock in 1985. The latter came just as the whole metalcore/speed metal thang was just starting to really get some wind in its sails, and the metal-tinged guitars over crazed hardcore lent credence to their chosen moniker and earned ‘em much love from both sides of the punk/metal chasm. The production of their 1986 follow up, After Your Brain, zaps a wee bit of the sonic boom out of the guitar sound, but the strong songwriting is still very much accounted for. Conspicuously absent are the tracks from the You are the Victim seven-incher that was released between albums, but don’t let that dissuade ye. If you’re on a budget but really wanna get acquainted with these cats, I’d say your best bet is to procure this CD and the Burning the Factory CD, which consists of a smokin’ earlier demo and a live set, and you’re pretty much in the deep end of the pool. Classic stuff in every great sense of the term.  –jimmy (Westworld)

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