FACTION, THE: Yesterday Is Gone: 12” EP FACTION, THE: No Hidden Messages: LP

Beer City kicks down with a couple more punk obscurities for Record Store Day 2016. The Faction were one of the premier “skate rock” bands making the rounds in the early ‘80s, and even included bona fide pro skater Steve Caballero in their ranks. Both records were originally released on IM Records in 1983. Yesterday Is Gone is a 12” version (white vinyl) of their debut 7” EP, and is rife with the quintessential “thrash” sound of the time: most of the tunes zip on by in short order with lyrics addressing both the political and personal, and a clean, tight sound reminiscent of bands like Code Of Honor. The Beer Boys have seen fit to include the band’s two tracks originally on Thrasher magazine’s old Skate Rock Vol. One comp for good measure. No Hidden Messages (clear green vinyl), their first full length, travels much along the same path with more tunes opting to shift into comparatively lower gear, and the lyrical subject matter starts to incorporate some horror elements and the occasionally more mundane woes of the early ‘80s teenage male. Nice reminder of a time, attitude, and style that one doesn’t come across quite as often these days. As an aside, some of the lyrics, like those for “Why Save the Whales,” cracked me up. To wit: “Funds collected in a humane cause / to rescue a mammal with enormous jaws / one ate Pinocchio, but you don’t care / solicit money using solemn stares….” Ah, ‘80s punks. We were a fuggin’ funny lot. –Jimmy Alvarado (Beer City)