OUTSIDERS: Government Cloud: LP

Sep 22, 2022

For those keeping score, Huntington Beach’s Outsiders were one of the first of the infamous “HB” bands to come out of the Los Angeles’s South Bay. Formed in 1977, they, and a few other bands from that general vicinity, represented a newer, aggressive take on punk that became the blueprint for what became hardcore, and, for better or worse, effectively shifted L.A. punk’s focus from Hollywood to the beaches. Members of the Outsiders eventually moved on to other seminal bands that released LPs and/or comp tracks and cemented their respective names in history—China White, Blades, The Crowd. Finally getting their own turn on vinyl, Artifix has collected two demos here. The first, recorded in 1979, features the band in the prime of their first run, meting out muscly proto-hardcore with a sly Sabbath undertow. The second, recorded in 2010 during a period when they were again active, features a band more confident and comfortable with their instruments adding a bit more rock swagger to the tunes, which only adds heft to their basic sound. Both sets of recordings feature Frank Ruffino’s fiery guitar work and it’s cool to hear how songs like “Government Cloud” and “Daddy’s Little Girl,” both of which later ended up in China White’s set, progressed from one band to the next. Add some pristine sound and liner notes to provide some perspective and you have one of those instances where a record serves as both an important bit of history and a great listen. Now, here’s hoping Greg can do something similar with the Blades, the Skrews, and Der Stab. –Jimmy Alvarado (Artifix)

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