Nov 17, 2011

Sometimes these “discography” discs are quite interesting, because they offer the opportunity to see a group of fledgling musicians, in this case four punkers hailing from somewhere in 1980s NY, find their sound. The band’s name has “the original” prefixed right above it, ostensibly to prevent confusion between these cats, who existed 1983-85 or so, and the band that put out a buncha vinyl on Sympathy For The Record Industry years later. The forty-one tracks here come from three different demos, one from each of their years of existence. The first, Created in Your Image, is a straight-up garage recording, with thrashy tempos and howled vocals spit out via a raw-as-fuck recording, resulting in a sound that sits somewhere between early Adrenaline OD and Connecticut legends Seizure. The second demo, Bark Twice for Freedom, reins in the chaos a bit—though the tempos are still largely zippy, the tunes show a wee bit more sophistication—and the recording sounds like a more traditional four-track affair. By the third, the heretofore unreleased Hell is for Hippies, however, the band has tempered their hardcore with a sound that might be comparable (if one was really stretching) to, say, the Minutemen, albeit with a helluva lot less funk and a helluva lot more Beefheart. Though each era is not without its charms, for my money this last bit of mania is the real gem here, where the band took those early influences and forged a sound that was all their own. Hippies was a demo for an album that, apparently, was never recorded, which is a damned shame ‘cause it would’ve easily been considered a classic of punk’s freakier fringe, based on what’s here. The DVD is footage of the band thrashing up a thirty-plus minute set in their garage, with sound that’s raw but discernable.  –jimmy (Welfare)