ZITS, THE: Back in Blackhead: LP

Cobbled together around their lone non-posthumous release, the “Sick on You” / “Beat Your Face” 45, the sticker on the shrink wrap touts this collection as “CLASS OF 1981 TEEN PUNK GENIUS FROM THE D.C. SUBURBS.” And, while I think the home plate umpire must’ve had a pret-ty wide strike zone regarding the definition of “genius” the day that sticker copy got written (nutty keyboards notwithstanding), that’s really pretty much what it is—a bunch of kids playing music in their parents’ basements, without a whole lot of roadmaps detailing how the process is allegedly supposed to unfold. They remind me a little of that band The Trend from California, and also of a less-talented version of that band The Trend from Missouri, which is odd, because the liner notes mention that one of the band’s inspirations was a band of older students from their high school called The Trend (presumably no relation). The seven non-single songs here (including an Undertones cover, who the band apparently believed were from Australia) were recorded at their high school, so plan accordingly. This record is so charmingly and acutely teenage that it’s making me feel like I’m in one of those dreams where you’re back in high school, didn’t do your homework, and aren’t wearing pants. If you don’t like this record at all, you were probably never actually a teenager. Then again, if you like it too much, you probably have fucking brain damage. I guess that’s a horse a piece. BEST SONG “Beat Your Face.” BEST SONG TITLE: “Euh Baby Euh.” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: The keyboardist for The Cars sent the band a postcard thanking them for sending him their single, and his favorite song was “Beat Your Face” too. –Rev. Nørb (Feel It)