SHOCK + THE SILENCERS: Self-titled: CD

With some of the very early punk on the west coast of America, you’d almost swear that LA was a suburb of London. English accents abounded, so did Clash-isms and Sex Pisol-itry. But the endearing fact was that Los Angeles sucked so fucking bad and there was plenty of original material to pluck up from the rubble. Here are sixteen prime tracks that further plot out how feral and widespread punk was in ’78. It’s great to have an economical CD of one of the at-the-time-well-known and not-so-lucky original Hollywood punk rock bands. The first nine tracks are by Shock. Four of the tunes come from two singles (made incredibly sought after by Killed By Death). The standout, which could stand toe-to-toe with any punk anthem, is “This Generation’s On Vacation.” After a lineup change, they became the Silencers, and the biggest change is that Kat takes the mic. She’s got the fire, clarity, and conviction on parallel of The Avengers’ Penelope Houston. The Silencers never released anything on vinyl when they were a band (although I’m sure some European vinyl hound label has gotten around to it), and that’s a damn shame. If you’re interested in the deeper history of LA punk, that goes beyond the usual suspects and is really fun to listen to, this one’s a complete gem. Highly, highly recommended. 

 –todd (Wankin’ Stiphs)