STATE, THE: No Illusions: 7”

One of the good things to come out of the whole Killed By Death phenomenon is that a lot of attention has been focused on bands that otherwise would’ve continued to wallow in obscurity and remained unheard of outside of the small group of people who actually bought one of the, say, two hundred copies of a given release by said band. So much about punk and hardcore in the ‘80s (at least in the circles I ran around in) was not as much about whether you had the latest from more popular bands like Hüsker Dü or 7 Seconds (although being familiar with them didn’t hurt) as it was about what amazing obscurity you stumbled upon that week. Through this ritual, bands like the Mentally Ill, Void, Italy’s Raw Power, Germany’s Inferno and damn near any Scandinavian band to commit music to tape garnered more than a couple of fans as far away from their hometown as East Los Angeles could be. Sadly, I would further venture to say that it’s that peculiar punk habit that somewhere went haywire and resulted in dumbfucks unclear on the concept paying ridiculous prices for records they’re only gonna store in a hermetically sealed box in an airless room and never, ever play and, thus, taking such gems out of circulation. Fuck that. Records are supposed to be played often and, more importantly, shared with others who might find them crucial. So this whole bootleg and/or reissue culture of reintroducing long gone bands back into the punk rock conversation is just peachy, I say. Not only has it kick started the musical career of the Queers, which may or may not be a good thing depending on how you feel about them, but it’s also exposed a lot of people (myself included) to bands they never new existed, such as the State, which brings us to the record currently up for discussion. This is a reissue, not a bootleg, of this Michigan band’s first of two releases (the other being a 12” that, according to some sources, is nowhere near the caliber of this, but I digress). The band cranks out seven blasts of quirky thrash that are finished faster than it takes to read the lyrics. Although they don’t really sound like them, comparisons would lead to other now-obscure Midwestern bands, like Die Kreuzen, whose Cows and Beer EP was just as crazed, chaotic, and quirky as what’s here, and the Fix, who were just about as rough around the edges and mean-sounding as these guys. Ultimately, this deserves a spot in hardcore’s hallowed halls just as much as any of the genre’s more celebrated groups. Thanks to Felix Havoc, you can get a copy of this bad boy, which was mastered from the original tapes and features a faithful reproduction of the original cover layout, for 3/100 the price you would pay for a copy of the original. Better snatch it up quick, though, ’cause there’s only a thousand of ’em out there (well, 999 if you count the one that ain’t gonna be leaving my home anytime soon). If you do manage to get one, be sure to play it often and share it with as many friends as you can.

 –jimmy (Havoc)