Japanese punk that’s the midpoint between some of these dudes’ previous bands: Teengenerate and Firestarter. Here’s the story I remember, to the best of my recollection. I’m telling you this because every record mentioned is worth your time to track down and listen to. Years ago, Teengenerate wanted to be a power pop band. They had a rough-and-tumble demo and sent it to Crypt Records. Tim Warren, the label honcho, flipped at the raw aggression—of a band tapping into the wellspring of the asphalt and drag strip heart of rock’n’roll. He convinced the band to not touch the demo, and in 1994 Get Action! was released. Garage and proto-punks clenched their fists in glee. The next two years would see two more excellent records: Smash Hits!! and Savage! Teengenerate disbanded. In 1996, many (if not all) of the members—Fifi, Fink, Sammy—reformed and became Firestarter. This time, they recorded and released the album they had conceptually thought Teengenerate would have been: power pop perfection. It’s got this unadulterated power chained to bouncy melodies, like FM Knives and Gentleman Jesse. Don’t let the Bible-lookin’ cover of Livin’ on the Heat deter you from purchase. (As far as I know, it’s still unreleased in the States.) In 2005, Fink left Firestarter and started Raydios and it’s the mid-point between a contemporary Japanese version of Eddie Cochran and the Knack through the valves of Estrus and Sympathy Records: driving hooks, plenty of meat and screech, and impeccable, unsterilized musicianship. Cool stuff.

 –todd (Dirtnap)