on November 30, 2005
Finally, this is being sold at a fair price - $14 - so take advantage quickly and acquire yerself a copy of what is one of the best hardcore compilations ever..and then some seeing as you also get the "unsafe at any speed" compilation single on here too.
If, however, those couple of cheap copies are gone by the time you're reading this and you're thinking of purchasing a copy for $45 - $80 then STOP! As great as this is it is not worth paying some greedy schmuck $80 for. I wouldn't even pay that for an original vinyl copy nevermind a reissued cd which is barely 10 years old. Personally, i blame Germans and the Japanese for paying ridiculous prices for rare records. "Get it away" 12" lp by S.S.D used to go for around $20-$30 until Japanese traders started paying $200 for copies and changed the whole game. One can only speculate on how much rare hardcore classics will be going 5 years from now if still not reissued if these morons continue to keep paying silly prices for records thus putting the prices up for all of us.
Instead of paying a ridiculous price for one cd you can find much of "this is Boston not L.A" and "unsafe at any speed" elsewhere on Amazon. Let's take the Gang Green tracks : you can find all of those and the excellent "sold out"/"terrorize" single on the "pre-school" cd. As for The Freeze tracks, you'll find those alongside marvellous early Freeze singles and rare/unreleased songs on the "token bones" cd. You want the F.U's tracks then you can get them on the cd release of the "kill for christ" ep and the Proletariat songs can be found on their "voodoo economics and other American tragedies" double disc discography. Here's the science bit : even after buying all of these it will still be cheaper than paying $50-$80 for a copy of "this is Boston not L.A"/"unsafe at any speed" and you'll get so much more superb bonus material too. It's up to you, dear reader, but that's what i'd do until this is reissued again and is sold at a normal price.
As for this cd, it's a no-brainer - a hardcore classic, of course. The Gang Green and Freeze material are the highlights. Gang Green's are ultra-fast and wild pre-dating even the mighty Siege while The Freeze's are snarling punk, fellow Boston legends Jerry's Kids, The F.U's and Proletariat rip it up with some blazin' '82 Boston hardcore plus the little known Decadence and The Groinoids also contribute strong material. It's yet another example of why Boston wiped the floor with every other hardcore scene in the early 80s.
on December 19, 2004
This CD has on it the 7": Unsafe At Any Speed comp that came out right after this album. Together they actually make the perfect CD cuz they have tracks from the same bands from the same period which is like 1982. Punk has been, of course, out of the grip of the massive music industry. What happened, as a result, is local sounds. That used to be the case in the 50's and 60's in the U.S. A song could become a regional hit and then possibly break out nationally. Once radio stations became part of conglomerate networks and researchers began to dictate what DJ's should generally play for maximum commercial success, regional sounds and hits began to disappear, in general. Not so in punk rock. The Seattle area, the San Francisco Bay area, Southern California, Texas particularly Austin, Florida, Virginia, D.C., NY, Boston, Chicago, Detroit and probably generally the Midwest, were all distinct punk musical regions with a bit of their own general tendency to have a distinct sound. Of course, many unique sounding bands sprang up from the various cities but, overall, there were regional sounds. When you listen to this CD you can definitely tell that it's not from Southern California or Seattle or D.C. I'm not quite sure how to describe how they sound different. Maybe it's about beer? That's one possible theme difference, particularly with GANG GREEN. It's really a somewhat subtle difference.
If you are ever lucky enough to tour the U.S., or were, you get a real feel for the distinct differences in each punk scene in each city. El Paso is different than Tucson, San Diego is different from the general L.A. region and so on. All I know is, who ever it was who put this comp (actually this album and the 7") did a beautiful job. As you may know if yer into punk, punx typically are not competitive with each other, rather, they often voluntarily cooperate because none of them typically is making a living at bein' a punk band. The band members usually have day jobs. So it's common for bands to be on a compilation album with one to several songs.
Another common sharing thing in punk is the split release. Albums with two punk bands on them are quite common while being quite rare in the big business world of music. Ah, just another reason to love punk rock.
But, I'm not trying to convince anyone of anything here. Just reveling outloud at the joys of this scene, the attitude and it's music, particularly the music. This CD is definitely like having 5 or more 7"s all on one record, and not just any 7"s. Almost every single song on this CD is very strong, a few more strong than others but I don't remember a single one bein' a weak link. Ok, ok, I was just listening to this CD today and there's some songs that are just nice punk rock and not wonderful. Course, I'm also more picky about the HC I listen to the older I get. If it ain't smasho/well written/sounds great, I'm not gonna listen to it. So, it's like 4 great 7"s and 2 ok ones. The sign of a strong comp is no weak songs. It's one reason this comp is legendary in the world of punk, I guess I gotta say now, old school, least to be descriptive. Cuz, after all, time has passed. But, ya know what? This music is not an ounce weaker when you listen to it today. Snappy, real punk rock, made for the pure pleasure of it with no big record executives or producers tellin' the bands how to modify their tunes to get sold to the masses.
I originally wrote this review (above) in 2004. It's 2012 now and the passion and appreciation for hc has worn down a bit. I don't see this as the greatest thing since sliced bread anymore but only cuz, overall, now that i'm 57 I just don't have the same razor edge of intense response to hc like I did for ages 24 to about my mid 40's. However, some hc still gets me to the quick. One such is Cheetah Chrome M....'s especially live at Last White Christmas live 12/4/83 in Pisa Italy. Still blasts me. I always said I'd let age do it's thing and not falsely hang on. Still lovin' hc just not as much as before. Do it baby.
This stuff, like most punk rock, is the straight creative artistry of the bands and the people in indie studios and doin' indie labels who just get a thrill making and releasing high quality punk rock. That's what this is. email@example.com
on October 18, 2006
The title says it all, Gang Green, the Freeze, Decadence, Jerry's Kids, these are all great songs from great bands. But, don't pay $50 for this...
Go to Newbury Comics website and buy direct from them for $15. Taang also lists this CD for $16, buy it from them, don't buy it for $50, that's not punk... and the people on this comp would be appauled at it also...