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Subhumans | Death Was Too Kind | review | punk | Lollipop
Death Was Too Kind (Alternative Tentacles)
By Craig Regala
C'mon, what can you say? These guys built the house that launched ten thousand bands. So, are they of interest outside of historical who-ha? I mean, fuck, punk rock didn't sell DICK in the day, even a major label launch like the first Dead Boys LP sold under five thousand units its first year out. NOW it's a "classic," and it's a great one, but to be in a punk band after that first generation of P-Rock sank like a cinder block tied to a squirrel meant you really wanted to get that itchy shit out of your fucking system into the world at large, even if it was a couple dozen worked up, angry, awkward goofs with haircuts from a blind barber. I missed the initial hardcore thing by a couple years but caught most of the records as they came out and they were something to really grab on to. Yes, I too had gerbil-chewed hair: It was the thing to do.
This CD is ten tracks of early hump recorded between '78 and '82. I never saw on actual wax, but caught a few of'm on tapes of the nOIse show (NY radio with Tim Sommer and Jack Rabid, I think), and then "Slave To My Dick" on the fan-fucking-tastic Let Them Eat Jellybeans comp. You hear this shit and the scales will fall from your eyes and the wool will be unpulled from'm and the future flops its sweaty black t-shirt on yer floor. I'm sure The Offspring, D.I., and Bad Religion all have DNA traceable to here.
If I knew anything about the past jillion years of punk, I'd site more bands, but the point's made: It started here not just cuz they were there, but cuz they were good. Really good. They were pissed off a bunch, but not cynical. Check "Death To The Sickoids," "Fuck You" and the googley-eyed droll "Slave To My Dick" along with the Stiff Little Fingerish "Firing Squad" and Stoogley "No Productivity" working hopped-up aggression into what this got-damn energized rock 'n' roll thing could be, punk or no. Hey, Christmas is coming, so do something good for the youth of America and stimulate the economy; Buy the good stuff.
Spin this with D.O.A., early X, The Skulls, The Avengers, The Ruts, The Dils, Pagans, and the Let Them Eat Jellybeans and All's Quiet On the Western Front comps.