VARIOUS ARTISTS: Life Is Ugly So Why Not Kill Yourself: CD

Wow, I was wonderin’ when someone would get around to reissuing this, and in this case, it appears that the culprit is Danny Phillips, who was one of those responsible for the original release. What you get here, kids, is a chance to own one of the early, definitive Southern California punk comps, featuring tracks from (in order of appearance) Red Cross (Redd Kross before the other Red Cross threatened to sue, and before they were bitten by the glam bug), Descendents, Anti, Ill Will, Civil Dismay, China White, Mood of Defiance, Minutemen, 100 Flowers/the Urinals, Zurich 1916, Plebs and Saccharine Trust, nearly all of which aren’t available anywhere else. Although nearly all of the tracks hold up pretty well considering it’s been twenty years since it was originally available (Mood of Defiance’s track in particular is still a stunner), it’s worth the price of admission alone to hear Red Cross (which at the time consisted of the McDonald Bros, future Circle Jerk Greg Hetson on guitar and future Black Flag singer Ron Reyes on drums) uncharacteristically thrash things up a bit. Rumor has it that the other two releases in the series are to be reissued as well, so keep your eyes peeled, as all three volumes are highly recommended.

 –jimmy (Delirium)