We Never Learn: The Gunk Punk Undergut, 1988-2001: By Eric Davidson, 351 pgs. By Ty

I remember back in 1994 when I first moved to Victoria, I quickly attached myself to the local university radio station. Punk rock was taking the mainstream faster than you could blink your eyes. I was looking for something dirtier and what I found was the Cheapo Crypt Sampler from Crypt Records. It was raw, trashy punk like I had never heard before. The band in particular that swept me up was New Bomb Turks.

It is more than fitting that the Turks’ frontman Eric Davidson would be the one to chronicle the bands that made up that scene. He was there front and center, out on tour, and playing with most of the band in the book. A firsthand account is refreshing in music history types of books.

As for the tome itself, it’s well written and chock full of information and wacky stories. I found myself more than excited at the prospect of reading more about some of my favorites like The Mummies, Devil Dogs, and the Candy Snatchers and I wasn’t let down. He also manages to throw some New Bomb Turks history into the mix without the book becoming an autobiography. Neat trick!

The only thing I thought was missing was a little more of what was going on in Canada at the time, but perhaps that’s ripe for the picking for someone else’s book. I’ll continue to enjoy this here book many more times. Having The Spits on the cover is pretty fuckin’ rad, too! (Backbeat Books 7777 West Bluemound Rd., Milwaukee, WI 533213)