VARIOUS ARTISTS: Fear Power God: CD

Long ago, punk rock was just as much about exchanging ideas as it was about getting drunk and singing about getting drunk. Oftentimes, these ideas came from places that weren’t popular, or danced around the extreme edges of countercultural thought, but the prevailing line of thought was that one was intelligent enough to make one’s own decisions on what one believed and what one thought was total bullshit—in effect, think for yourself—rather than pick a side and refuse to listen to, read, or intelligently assess anything that might upset one’s personal intellectual status quo. Originally released twenty-one years ago by Whipping Boy’s (now Oxbow’s) front man Eugene Robinson as an audio accompaniment to his Birth of Tragedy magazine, this compilation is a collection of mostly spoken word pieces from various corners of the underground circa-1988—Lydia Lunch, Allen Ginsberg, Anton LaVey, Charles Manson, Henry Rollins, Mr. V.O. Real, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Matt Heckert, and Whipping Boy—addressing the concepts behind the three words in the title. Some of the material is a bit dated, some is dubiously recorded at best, some of it reeks of pomposity, but all of it is worth at least a listen and will no doubt offend someone’s sensitivities in some way, just as it should.

 –jimmy (Blackhouse)