RHINO 39: Self-titled: 2 x CD

Mar 27, 2008

Rhino 39 were one of many exceedingly good yet maddeningly underrated bands to come out of the L.A. scene. Like the Weirdos, X, the Germs and other contemporaries, they took their U.K./New York influences and just twisted ‘em all kindsa funny ways, resulting in tunes that were definitely “punk” (and, as they hailed from outside the Hollywood punkgeoisie, made for an excellent warning shot signaling that the beaches and the suburbs were about to invade) but very much their own style. The tunes are often frenzied—remember, these guys were responsible for L.A.’s other claim to being the birthplace of hardcore, the “Xerox/No Compromise” medley on the b-side of their sole Dangerhouse single—and razor tight, but the vocals rarely register above annoyance in the outrage department, and the tempo and chord changes give the tunes a herky-jerky feel that is too-often nonexistent with today’s crowd of spiky-coiffed progeny. In addition to all the tracks from the aforementioned Dangerhouse single, one will also find one of the two tracks from the When Men Were Men and Sheep Were Scared compilation, their track from the Hell Comes to Your House compilation, the tracks from their sole album, tracks from a 1980 demo and, if you plop the second disc in your computer, some live footage of the band playing at Long Beach City College in 1979. Those who like their punk slightly off the beaten path would do well to buy this in bulk quantities, ‘cause you’re gonna wear the discs out fast.

 –jimmy (Nickel And Dime)