VICIOUS CIRCLE: The Price of Progress / Reflections: 2 x LP

Subtitled “The History of Australian ‘80s Punk/Hardcore Volume One,” this is a reissue of this Australian hardcore unit’s first two albums, originally released in 1985 and 1986, respectively, on the Reactor label. The Price of Progress is very much along the lines of what would likely be called “street punk” today, largely mid-tempo tunes with thrashy bursts peppered in here and there. Reflections shows some more sonic sophistication (and possibly some GBH influence) creeping into the batter, with the tempos becoming both more varied and nuanced and frequently more frenzied, by turns. Both albums are very much of a time when bands who’d survived global punk/hardcore’s earlier days began experimenting a bit with the formula, yet in this case still maintaining a foothold in their original sound. Nice to get reacquainted with these cats, who it appears remain active and productive. Definitely recommended. –Jimmy Alvarado (Power It Up)