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Most Influential Arizona Punk Rock Records: #2 -- Junior Achievement's Fade to Black

There was never any question about what Jon Yousko was singing in a Junior Achievement song. Yousko's perfectly enunciated lyrics weaved intoxicating tales over his bandmates' equally concussive riffage, and it was good. Goddamn, it was good.

From the opening riff of "Dr. Cutthroat's Revenge," which kicks off the stellar and highly influential (at least locally), album Fade to Black, the listener is pulled into Junior Achievement's world, and there is "no turning back," which Yousko reminds us in "Acid Attack" a few songs later. Fade to Black probably kicked off as many bands around town as any other local record due to its potent combination of punk, thrash, and rock and roll. There was a little something for everyone, as Yousko and his bandmates -- bassist Todd Joseph, guitarist Steve Marinick, and drummer Scott Chazan set the bar high -- but also created a fantastic blueprint for how to combine punk aesthetics with well-crafted songwriting.

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Tom Reardon has written for Phoenix New Times since 2013. He's been in several notable bands over the last 25 years including Hillbilly Devilspeak, North Side Kings, and the Father Figures.
Contact: Tom Reardon