CRUSTIES, THE: Crustunes: LP

I remember looking through MRR back awhile ago and seeing something about the Crusties in a Wisconsin scene report. It had me on the hunt for this album for decades. Learning that this was originally a cassette-only release explains why I never saw this in any used bins or in the MRR collection. So, here it is, first time on vinyl. Well worth the wait and hunt, for sure. The Crusties played intense, wound-up hardcore punk, but like any good band from that era, they mixed in some other musical influences, like metal, jazz, and some touches of funk—(not in that cheesy Red Hot Chili Peppers that way, though—more as though they’re taking cues from Beefeater) that kept them from blending in. Plus, they may be the only hardcore punk band ever to use a trumpet in their songs (though very sparingly). It’s actually pretty cool how it’s utilized in the song “Sloppy Seconds.” The songs move at a quick pace, but never go full-on thrash. Instead, everything is kept at a watched boil to keep the urgency constant. Check out “Horton Hears a Who” with its fast-paced tempo—that drum break without losing any power. Then they tear into the instrumental “Your Own Words.” The guitar at the start of “Ratz” reminds me of Die Kreuzen. Then there’s the lurking-to-racing tempo of “K-9 Cadaver / Final Regret” that pulls you further in. Worth picking up, for real! It’s a limited deal, so get it! –Matt Average (Beer City, beercity.com)