Hardcore Punk was a big thing back in the early 1980s. Bands in the wake of the likes of Black Flag and the Dead Kennedys began to crop up on the coasts of the USA, in a strangely unique American trend. This is a good place to start for fans of Minor Threat, who is particularly well known for the anti-drug anthem Straight Edge. This release is a collection of all of the songs from the first album, Minor Threat, and some extra tunes to be added to the mix. Let’s take a good look at this release, and hopefully, it should be a decent musical listen. Notably, this has 15 songs that go on for less than 20 minutes, quite a feat for a band.
Filler begins with Grungy guitars and a psychotic lead into a kind of music that is truly underrated and awesome. This song is a bit of a rant against religion, and it is very fast-paced and different. This is a very clear, direct and punchy musical listen that aims to attack society’s ills. It does sound really cool though, a nice tune.
I Don’t Wanna Hear It begins with a short bass guitar riff, before launching into an extreme tune that sounds rather whiny. This is more like a musical concept than anything else out there, and it is full-on, powerful and extreme. Another decent tune with a good sense of musicality, this is much better than Black Flag’s Damaged album, in all seriousness. Great and a short one minute long song.
Seeing Red begins with some catchy and melodic bass/guitar riffing, before launching into a wonderful, thrashy and somewhat trashy (in a good way) Hardcore Punk song. This is more a musical concept than anything else, as this is mentioned here. The outro is pretty mental.
Straight Edge begins with some awesome guitar riffs and is the classic anti-drug anthem that kicks some good rear. This is amazing to hear and is 45 seconds long. A great concept musically, artistically and health-wise, this is brilliant. Nice work. Straight edge is a lifestyle to be celebrated.
Small Man, Big Mouth sounds very much like an early Black Flag tune. It is about people who talk nonsense all day, and who make no real social contribution to the world. A powerful, loud and weird tune, but enjoyable nonetheless.
Screaming At A Wall is what one does in a psychotic mood. It begins with some raw and punchy guitar riffs, launching into another psychotic sounding tune. A tremendous whirlwind of energy, although the songs here essentially sound all the same. A nice tune to hear through and through, this has a breakdown in the second half, followed by some psychotic playing. Proto-Grunge? Possibly, the seeds of that are in these songs.
Bottled Violence begins with the sounds of glass breaking, before launching into another rant against alcoholic stupidity, which makes sense if you are young and angry. A very punchy and different listening experience, this is a good song that seems to have been stolen by Metallica on their own song Fight Fire With Fire, at least the chorus anyway. Interesting.
Minor Threat is the mission statement of the group. It quickly explodes into a powerful and driven tune about youthful angst. Great song again here, even if the appeal is limited and the songs are extremely short. This was covered by Metallica on their own Garage Inc album. A good listen for Hardcore Punk music.
Stand Up is a sub one minute long song, which begins with roaring guitars, hollered vocals and a fast tune to match it. An interesting and energetic listen, this shows a side of musical anger that is often looked past in the history of music. Good to hear though.
12XU begins with a short, spoken-word intro before launching into a mammoth tune that is perfect for that skateboarding session that you may want to do with your mates at the park. A wicked piece of music, complete with a bass guitar solo gurgling away, this is definitely impressive. Aggression with the volume wound up to 10.
In My Eyes begins with some slower drum beats, and some post-Punk sounds, before launching into another Hardcore frenzy. This eventually slows right down, with guitars feeding back and a great riff emerging from all of this. A suspenseful and energetic piece of music with some screaming galore, before launching into an audio assault. A brilliant piece of music, this sounds really powerful and direct, with some more epic screaming towards the end. The whole thing concludes at a rapid speed, this is the musical equivalent of anarchy, more so than the Sex Pistols ever were. Brilliant, just like that group as well.
Out Of Step (With The World) begins and is one of the fastest pieces by Minor Threat. It is so fast that it is very devoid of many musical elements that one can think of. It’s okay, but as mentioned earlier, the musical appeal of this all is very limited. The guitar solo is very manic, though. It ends with an equally manic scream.
Guilty Of Being White is an interesting statement as it attacks the Anglo-Saxon majority in English speaking countries, and asks if everything that they have done is worth it historically. A cool tune to listen to, it rails against racism in any shape or form, and much more needs to be done in the music industry for the anti-racist cause. A powerful tune, it is brilliant. Good work.
Steppin’ Stone is the last tune on this album, with a distant sounding intro and some strange sounds from the group as a result. It gradually is mixed into an ordinary listening experience, and it sounds great when it eventually is mixed properly. A good finish to an unusual collection of music, this sounds really cool and amazing. Worth your ears, it ends with the strange mixing revisiting one’s ears again. The outro is particularly weird.
To be fair, this was never intended to be the greatest Rock, let alone, Punk Rock record of all time. However, it does sound 100 times better than Black Flag ever did and this compilation alone has had a massive influence on the music scene and all who followed after in the name of Punk. Should you hear this? Yes and no, it depends on if the limited musical format here appeals to you. Otherwise, check out the Dead Kennedys for some more consistent Hardcore Punk.
Straight edge is a lifestyle worth living.