NO DIRECTION: Self-titled: LP

Considering that South Dakota is only two states over from me, and I was active in the scene when this record originally came out (1983), I’m a little mortified that not only do I not remember ever hearing it before now, but I don’t remember even hearing of it before now (although it’s possible they got mixed up in my teenage brain with No Trend / No Crisis / No Response / whatever). I actually know significantly more about South Dakota roller derby than I do about South Dakota bands, and this is a source of great shame, for this record is quite good. As an outsider trio taking their initial cues from the Big Bad World Beyond and then blazing their own path in the wilderness, I’d say that, by way of comparison, this record sounds like what Electrify Me by the Plugz might’ve sounded like if the Plugz were from South Dakota instead of L.A. If you try, you can catch a whiff of the same regional trio wavelength that infected the earliest Hüsker Dü stuff, and if you extend “regional” to encompass the entirety of the NBA’s Northwest Division, you can hear a bit of that forward-plowing melancholy of the Wipers if you really hold the shell to your ear the right way. If you don’t dig “Where’s the Beach?” you clearly never understood the Midwest. They should give this album away at Wall Drug instead of ice water. BEST SONG: “Tear Gas Justice.” BEST SONG TITLE: “Where’s the Beach?” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Drummer Charles Luden is the author of West of Venus: Punk Love Poems, which I have not read. Rev. Nørb (Rerun / No Direction)