SOCIAL TASK: 1979 Studio Recordings: 7” EP

Mar 08, 2010

As has been noted in numerous books, periodicals, and other sources, the influx of kids from the suburbs and beaches of Southern California into the punk scene created a bit of a conundrum. On the one hand, most of the new kids were considerably more aggressive and, in some cases, downright sociopathic compared to the more laidback, arty attitude of Hollywood’s punks. Thing is, along with all the aggro, the music these kids were dishing up in their bands gave the scene a much-needed shot of creativity and intensity, and soon the old guard was being overrun by bands like Black Flag, the Slashers, China White, The Blades, Non-Fascists, The Outsiders, the Screwz and others who laid the foundation, good or ill, for hardcore, modern pop punk, and the now stereotypical Southern California punk sound. Social Task was one of these early bands, comprised of former members of the Slashers, The Idols, Non-Fascists, and China White. The five tunes on the first side of this EP, recorded in 1979 and summarily forgotten about until a few years ago, deftly showcase all the hoopla surrounding those early beach bands. While spare on technical finesse and more straightforward than Hollywood’s artier punk bands, the tunes are chock full of interesting chord progressions and ramped up with the same level of intensity that made bands like the Bags and the Germs such a hoot. Side B here presents four more tunes from 2007 with most of the lineup remaining intact, and it appears that age has not mellowed them one whit. Last I checked, they’re still out and about, playing gigs all over Southern California, so definitely make a point to check ‘em out and, by all means, pick this up before you later end up kicking yourself repeatedly in the ass while paying outrageous amounts for it on Ebay.

 –jimmy (Artifix)