RAW POWER: The Reagan Years: CD/DVD

The first thing I thought when I saw this was: How much does this thing cost? Beer City Records is a quality label to begin with and they have really triumphed by making over four records worth of Italy’s Raw Power’s output in the 1980s available in a DVD box for $25. Wow! This is such a no-brainer, it is hard to write about. Formed in Poviglio, Italy in 1981, Raw Power play hardcore punk with a hint of rock and roll guitar riffs. As their catalog reaches into the later ‘80s, the band edges into a more street punk sound a la Broken Bones. Here is the product breakdown: Disc one contains the albums Screams from the Gutter (1984) and After Your Brain (1986). Disc two contains Mine to Kill (1989), You Are the Victim (1983) and the Wop Hour 7”. Disc three is a DVD containing two live shows. I’m not a huge live DVD kind of guy, but these two shows from ‘86 and ‘87 are a nice companion. My neurotic side detests the thought of old band videos rotting in someone’s mom’s basement, so I get some sort of Hank Hill satisfaction seeing them put to good use. Economy and fundamentals are at the root of this box set. There is an argument that could be made for too much of a good thing, but this band is worth it. Since technology is spoiling people’s attitude about the value of music at an alarming rate, the ability to cram more, more, more into a punk rock release should be something of a consolation prize. I really hope this budget box set becomes a model for releasing some lesser-known discographies. Bravo!

 –Billups Allen (Beer City)