WASTED YOUTH: Wild and Wandering: CD

Okay, see, when you’re an old hardcore kid from L.A., there’s only one Wasted Youth—the local one responsible for tunes like “Problem Child,” “Teenage Nark,” and “Uni High Beefrag.” Though contemporaries, and who may have actually predated them by at least a few months, these Limey proto-goth post-punkers ain’t them. Based solely on that criteria (look, I never said I was smart, okay? You want smarmy, pseudo-intellectual rock “journalism”? Go read fuckin’ Rolling Stone) I’ve avoided even listening to anything by this band for twenty-nine years. So it pops up in the review piles, I figure what the hell, let’s give it a go, and do so. Well, the me of twenty-nine years ago would’ve dismissed it outright as woefully boring. The brand-spankin’ new, twenty-first millennium me, however, can appreciate it for what it is: a nice bit of proto-goth post-punk. The tunes are dark around the edges and experimental in sound with enough bite to keep it from coming off as a huge pretentious wankfest. No, it ain’t perfect, and the live tracks tacked on could’ve been easily shitcanned—no one but the most anal retentive fan missing ‘em—but things are consistently interesting and occasionally a tune as snotty and subversive as “I Wish I Was a Girl” comes along and makes you say, “cooool.” They may not be the true Wasted Youth, but they sure as hell ain’t bad. 

 –jimmy (Cherry Red)