CROWD, THE: Surf Ghetto Riot—Big Waves and Wipeouts 1994-2014: LP

The first time I heard The Crowd it was on a beat-up cassette gifted to me by my pal Dustin Jak. I was simultaneously thrown into a world of beach punk that I hadn’t heard before and introduced one of my all time favorite record labels: Hostage Records. The Crowd blew me away. They had so many albums, and for a band that had been around for ages, they sounded so fresh. I snapped up everything that came out, always waiting with baited breath for their new record that was always promised, but never appeared…. Until now…. Sort of. Surf Ghetto Riot is a comprehensive collection of rare, post-‘80s Crowd music. From long out-of-print 7”s, to compilation tracks, to never released recordings. I will go on record right here and right now to say that their cover of “Solitary Confinement” is better that the original. Hostage really pulled out all the stops on this one. Of course, I went for the “art damaged” version with the killer screenprinted cover, the “Beach Blvd. Blue” vinyl and the dust jacket signed by all the members from over the years. Those might be all gone, but there are other versions out there, and you know you need this in your collection. –Ty Stranglehold (Hostage, hostagerecords.com)