SPAZZ: Sweatin’ to the Oldies (All the Out of Print Stuff ‘93-’96): CD

A reissue of a long out of print CD compiling all or most of the Bay Area powerviolence band’s earliest recordings originally released by Slap A Ham Records in 1997. Spazz arose from the ashes of the first powerviolence wave and immediately reinvigorated it with a sense of humor (both about themselves and the underground music scene) not typically associated with the genre’s previous political and nihilistically charged themes. This collection includes songs from their debut 7” and a multitude of splits and compilations. Song lengths are usually anywhere from ten seconds to a minute, so naturally this disc features a whopping sixty-four tracks of their brand of “Satanic goofcore.” Speaking of which, the lyrical matter was most definitely lighthearted, with themes ranging from disdain for ravers (“Droppin’ Many Ravers”), emo bullshit (“Hug Yourself”), skateboarding (“Donger”), kung-fu and Asian action films (“Spazz Vs. Mother Nature”, “Hard Boiled”) and taking jabs at their friends (“Hot Dog Water Popsicle in the Hand of Eric Wood”). It’s song after song of powerviolence savagery with the occasional sludgy rager thrown in to perplex the purists. Subsequently, a few more albums, a barrage of even more splits, and an insane amount of compilation songs were later compiled onto even more CDs. The legend continued until 2000 when the band finally played their final show at 924 Gilman in Berkeley, CA, which also marked my first pilgrimage to the Bay Area. My bias to Spazz is well known and my allegiance to them is forever, but it’s very nice indeed to be able to have this CD back in print so that future generations may too lick the cloven hoof of the masters of unholy Hong Kong core! –Juan Espinosa (Tankcrimes, tankcrimes.com)