SIN 34: Do You Feel Safe?: CD

Jan 27, 2015

Yup, you read that right, kids, the album it was once alleged would never see a legitimate reissue has been re-released. For those not familiar with the band, Sin 34 was a unit active on L.A.’s Westside in the early ‘80s (and for a time in the ‘00s/’10s with the original lineup intact) that was notable for a) being one of only a handful in the early American hardcore scene to feature a woman on vocals; b) counting Dave Markey (half of the We Got Power fanzine brain trust and a noted filmmaker) among their ranks; c) being one of the legion of bands that Circle One guitarist Mike Vallejo was in (though not for this recording), for those playing the wildly popular “Six Degrees of Mike” game that is sweeping the underground. This is the band’s sole long-form outing released when they were still active, a perennial inclusion on assorted want-lists and a bit of a classic, I reckon, of its type. If you’re looking for the artsy weirdness of Butthole Surfers, the taut funky-punk of the Minutemen, or even the mind-bogglingly complex speed-trials of Die Kreuzen, you’re barking up the wrong tree here. Sonically, their palette was solidly of the sloppy, occasionally generic thrash variety, more in line with early Wasted Youth than any of those others, with less emphasis on how much Reagan sucked and on more personal issues, peppered throughout with enough humor to keep things interesting. I fully know it’s a bit of an acquired taste for those looking for more sophisticated fare, but I’ve had a soft spot for ‘em since this was originally released, so it’s nice to see this get another go-’round. While the inclusion of the Die Laughing EP and assorted comp tracks would’ve been aces, the three outtakes that are tacked on here are definitely a welcome surprise, as are the liner notes penned by Markey, Thurston Moore, and Tobi Vail, respectively, to give the listener some context. 

 –jimmy (Sinister Torch)