10 More Underrated Punk Records: A Christmas List
It's that time of year again, kids. I'm sure you know the one. It's time to ask your Aunt Jean for a new record to throw on the family stereo at inopportune times so you can show how tortured your teenage soul has become. You need this, badly, and Aunt Jean is just crazy enough to say yes, take you down to the local record store, and pony up the dough for a record or two your parents would never buy.
Solely because I care, here's a list of 10 records you can ask the ol' spinster for, because though they are classics in some households, sadly, they've been overlooked in too many others. They come guaranteed to piss off your dad, render your mom incontinent, startle your pastor, and turn your older sister into a drug addict, but what do you care? Record collecting is where it's at, and someday you're going to work in a strip mall anyway, so you'll need a good Christmas (or Hanukah or Festivus) story to share.
If you can find 'em, buy these . . .
Dayglo Abortions -- Feed Us a Fetus (1986, Fringe Product)
Holy shit, this record kicks all kinds of ass. There is no way you can listen to it without banging your head. Is it metal? Is it hardcore? Is it metalcore? No. It's Canadian punk rock at its finest, and this is the best album by the best lineup the Dayglo Abortions ever had. For those of you who are, like, "What the heck? Gee willikers, I can't ask my matron Aunt Jean for an abortion record," please, just relax. These are Canadian abortions. Where they come from, both are free and relatively untouched by social stigma. Rumor has it, the 35-year-old band is still going to this day, but sadly, only one member, Murry Acton (or, as credited on the record, The Cretin, who played guitar on this fine slab o' wax) remains from the era when this record was recorded, between 1981 and 1985.
On Feed Us a Fetus, which features Ron and Nancy Reagan getting ready to chow down on some BBQ'd baby (maybe one of the best punk rock record covers ever, BTW), The Cretin was joined by Wayne Gretzky (not the hockey guy, but the other one) on guitar, Couch Potato on bass, and Jesus Bonehead on drums. These, of course, are pseudonyms, or as they say in Canada, "fake names, eh." Anyhow, the whole family will love this record. It starts off with a crushing quartet of songs, "Stupid Songs," "Argh Fuck Kill," "Die Sinner Die," and "Bedtime Story." These four songs, in about nine minutes of time, will completely change how you feel about punk rock, and the Dayglo Abortions are just getting started. Make sure you slip over and steal some of the neighbor's Molson Golden before you finish listening to the rest, because Feed Us a Fetus was made for beer drinking. Other standout tracks include, "Proud to Be a Canadian," "Wake Up American," and "Black Sabbath."
Victims Family -- Apocalicious (2001, Alternative Tentacles)
The Santa Rosa, California trio featuring guitarist/vocalist Ralph Spight, bassist extraordinaire Larry Boothroyd (both current members of the excellent Guantanamo Bay School of Medicine, which backs up ex-Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafra), and drummer David Gleza was one of the better bands to come out of the fertile Bay Area scene. Apocalicious is definitely a record to get the family rockin' around the dinner table in the weirdest of ways. Noisy funk-punk with a steady undercurrent of "fuck you" and a large dose of psychedelic mind alteration, the 13 tracks start out strong and do not relent. There is not a weak link on this record.
Pay special attention to Boothroyd's killer bass line on "Worthy Adversary" and the excellent lyrics contained across the record, delivered with a side of sneer by multi-talented guitar shredder Spight, who along with Boothroyd also made up two-thirds of both Saturn's Flea Collar and Hellworms. Additional tracks worthy of special note, "Screw in a Lightbulb," "Bananafishing," and "Fridge," which may be the only song ever to start with the following line, "I am a moldy piece of cheese."
Apocalicious makes a great soundtrack for bonging out in the basement and playing video games or making out with your favorite tonsil-tickling partner while the family goes caroling. Either way, you can't lose, unless the pastor comes over and you end up grounded.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Phoenix, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.