UNDERGROUND ALLIANCE: We Are the Underground Alliance: CD

Underground Alliance are one of the bands more active bands to come out of the East L.A. backyard punk scene, specifically City Terrace—and those who’ve been keeping score will recall that this is literally my home scene dating back to the early ‘80s, so if you’re expecting some unbiased review, you’re sadly mistaken, kiddo. Their roots in the backyards are very much in evidence, from a largely straightforward approach to the songs to the preponderance of polka beats to “pogo punx” references, but lead singer Tony Voltage is not afraid to temper songs delivered with a singsong gruffness about drinking and fucking with others addressing more serious topics—scene politics, respect for earlier punk generations, governmental corruption, and basic anarchist tenets—in a way that is more pointed than the vague rants at a nebulous “system” employed by more popular bands trying to appear “street” without upsetting any potential corporate sponsors. No doubt some things that might raise some eyebrows, like the lyrics to “Addicted to Women” (and seeing as I’m responsible for a song entitled “I Fuck the Dead” I’m in no position whatsoever to pass judgment), and their adherence to the backyard punk conventions might be off-putting to some, but on the whole this is a solid debut and a firm foundation for what’s to come.

 –jimmy (Innocence Lost)