MENTALLY ILL, THE: Gacy’s Place—The Starbeat Sessions: 12” EP

Jan 26, 2021

It could be argued—with a reasonable chance of success—that the ideal format for post-1978 punk bands is the 12” 45. By my off-the-top-of-my-head calculations, the best records by the Misfits, Dead Kennedys, TSOL, Replacements, Minutemen (maybe), and All are 12” 45s, and the best Circle Jerks record could’ve been a 12” 45 if the powers that be had been so inclined. That particular amount of songs seems like the most songs a (post-1978) punk band can take to the studio and record in one gob, without having the whole process dragging on into some big, extended, energy-sapping ordeal. It’s also the most songs a post-1978 punk band can get onto a record without the energy diffusing—the maximum duration that a post-1978 punk band can keep their material truly on point. This 12” 45 consists of all eight songs thrown down (up?) in the studio by legendary Killed By Death paragons The Mentally Ill the day they recorded the infamous “Gacy’s Place” single. By virtue of these songs having been recorded on January 1, 1979—as close as you can get to 1978 without going over —I’m going to go on record as saying that the Mentally Ill are (retroactively, but still) the very first band to whom the theory that the 12” 45 is the ideal format for post-1978 punk bands applies. I’d imagine their parents are quite proud. As far as a token descriptor of their sound, they sound like Doc Dart singing over a sped-up, less Eurotrash version of the Sniveling Shits, if that helps. BEST SONG: “Stalag Thirteen.” BEST SONG TITLE: “Tumor Boy.” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Stalag Thirteen was where the Hogan’s Heroes show was set. –Rev. Nørb (Last Laugh, almostreadyrecords.com)

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