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THE SONICS - "Here Are The Sonics!!!" (1965)

Tacoma, WA

I don't care who you are, what you like, who you know, where you've been, or how long you've been around. This is the first punk record ever recorded and it came out of Tacoma, WA. Not London or New York, but rainy day all year round Tacoma, WA. And I'm not the only person to think so (The Ramones themselves said they probably wouldn't exist if it weren't for The Sonics). If you don't believe me, just listen to songs like "The Witch" and particurally "Strychnine".

A1 The Witch 2:37
A2 Do You Love Me 2:15
A3 Roll Over Beethoven 2:46
A4 Boss Hoss 2:21
A5 Dirty Robber 1:59
A6 Have Love Will Travel 2:37
B1 Psycho 2:14
B2 Money 1:57
B3 Walkin' the Dog 2:42
B4 Night Time Is the Right Time 2:55
B5 Strychnine 2:10
B6 Good Golly Miss Molly 2:05

HÜSKER DÜ - "Land Speed Record" (1982)

St. Paul, MN

If you're familiar with Hüsker Dü's later output from Zen Arcade through Warehouse this record is not what you're going to expect. This is raw, fast, and totally insane midwest hardcore the way it's supposed to be. Fans of Negative Approach and the Fix will really appreciate this. Fans of those bands have probably already heard this though. Whatever, get into it.

A1 All Tensed Up 2:02
A2 Don't Try to Call 1:30
A3 I'm Not Interested 1:31
A4 Guns at My School 0:55
A5 Push the Button 1:48
A6 Gilligan's Island 1:23
A7 MTC 1:09
A8 Don't Have a Life 2:09
B1 Bricklayer 0:53
B2 Tired of Doing Things 0:58
B3 You're Naïve 0:53
B4 Strange Week 0:57
B5 Do the Bee 1:49
B6 Big Sky 0:57
B7 Ultracore 0:47
B8 Let's Go Die 1:26
B9 Data Control 5:28

Recommended listening:
MINUTEMEN - "The Punch Line" (1981)
BUTTHOLE SURFERS - "Butthole Surfers" (1983)


CHUMBAWAMBA - "Pictures of Starving Children Sell Records" (1986)

Leeds, England

Now before you start in with some tyrade about Tubthumper, I thought you should know a few things. First off, Chumbawamba never sold out. All the money they made from the sales of that afore mentioned record and it's hit single "Tubthumping" went to anarchist, green living, anti-automobile advocacy groups, and other positive, earth friendly causes. Which as far as I'm concerned, (sorry if this statement seems over used) is punk as fuck. Secondly, say what you will about the quality of that record, but back when (as in, when this record was released) Chumbawamba was fucking killer. This record is carefully thought out, very intelligent, and straight forward. They can also be silly at times, which I appreciate considering the serious tone of many of their lyrical themes. There will always be the comparisons to Crass, and as much as they are influenced by them, it really shows a lot more in their ethics and political alliances than song writing. Chumbawamba had (and still does) a sound that's really their own. Do yourself a favor and check out of this (sadly) often overlooked band.

A1 Prologue
A2 I. How to Get Your Band On Television
A3 II. British Colonialism and the BBC - Flickering Pictures Hypnotise
A4 III. Commercial Break
A5 IV. Unilever - How To Succeed In Business
B1 V. More Whitewashing
B2 VI. ...An Interlude: Beginning To Take It Back
B3 VII. Dutiful Servants And Political Masters
B4 VIII. Coca-Colonisation
B5 IX. ...And In A Nutshell "Food Aid Is Our Most Powerful Weapon" Reagan Administration, 1982
B6 X. Invasion

Recommended listening:
CRASS - "The Feeding of 5000" (1978)
CRASS - "Penis Envy" (1981)

CRASS - "Penis Envy" (1981)

Epping, Essex, England

This is the third record by Crass and a lot of people say it's their best, and it very well could be, but that's a rather bold statement. For all intents and purposes, being forced to actually pick a favorite Crass record is like being given the choice of losing either both your legs or both your arms. I'd rather just answer with: "Do I really have to choose?" That said, this album is fucking fantastic just like every other Crass record. I do like that the album is more of a concept album than their other releases, heavily revolving around feminism and other sexually related themes. Plus, Eve really shines through on here, and I've always really loved her voice. If you've never heard Crass before, this is a perfectly good place to start. But there's nothing wrong with starting elsewhere. I really love Crass.

A1 Bata Motel 3:30
A2 Systematic Death 3:57
A3 Poison in a Pretty Pill 3:39
A4 What the Fuck 6:43
B1 Where Next Columbus 3:10
B2 Berkertex Bribe 3:21
B3 Smother Love 1:48
B4 Health Surface 3:30
B5 Dry Weather 3:06
B6 Being True 2:04

More from Crass:
CRASS - "The Feeding of 5000" (1978)

Recommended listening:
CHUMBAWAMBA - "Pictures of Starving Children Sell Records" (1986)
PUBLIC IMAGE LTD - "First Issue" (1978)
ALTERNATIVE TV - "The Image Has Cracked" (1978)

EINSTÜRZENDE NEUBAUTEN - "Kalte Sterne" (1981)

Berlin, Germany

Along with Cabaret Voltaire and Throbbing Gristle, Einstürzende Neubauten was one of the key forces in the development of industrial music. Much of the music is made from found objects, rather than typical instruments. Not as good as their first official LP, Kollaps, but few things are really. The drumming and sampling on "Pygmäen" is my favorite part of the record.

A1 Kalte Sterne 4:13
B1 Aufrecht Gehen 3:48
C1 Ehrlicher Stein 0:59
C2 Pygmäen 1:19
D1 Schwarz 4:14

More from Einstürzende Neubauten:

Associated acts:
ABWÄRTS - "Amok Koma" (1980)

Recommended listening:
THROBBING GRISTLE - "The Second Annual Report" (1977)
CABARET VOLTAIRE - "Mix-Up" (1979)
SPK - "Information Overload Unit" (1980)


THE NIHILIST SPASM BAND - "No Record" (1968)

London, ON, Canada

The Nihilist Spasm Band is a noise/avant-garde collective composed of several artists in and around London, Ontario. While classified as being a noise band, they are not at all like other "typical" noise artists such as Whitehouse or Merzbow. Most of their instruments are homemade, being original designs by the members of the group, or modifications of other struments. The members typically do not tune their instruments to the others' and are encouraged to improvise. It's more of an audio modern art piece than what is commonly refered to as "music". Destroooooy the nations!!!

1 Destroy the Nations 8:18
2 When in London Sleep at the York Hotel 4:58
3 The Byron Bog 11:19
4 Dog Face Man 7:55
5 Oh Brian Dibb 4:36
6 Destroy the Nations Again 12:50

THE RESIDENTS - "The Third Reich 'n Roll" (1976)

Shreveport, LA

Probably the best known album by the Residents. A mash-up of cuts out of well known rock 'n roll songs and various other weird noises. Nobody is safe from the ridicule of the Residents. Not for everybody.

A1 Swastikas on Parade 17:45
B1 Hitler Was a Vegetarian 18:34

More from the Residents:
"Meet the Residents" (1974)
"The Commercial Album" (1980)

Recommended listening:
NEGATIVLAND - "Negativland" (1980)
NEGATIVLAND - "Points" (1981)


NEGATIVLAND - "Points" (1981)

Contra Costa County, CA

"Negativland's second album — and final one before Joyce became a full-time member — found the band's ambitions and compositional range increasing in due measure, if still not quite up to where A Big 10-8 Place and after would lead them. That such a young band would be not merely content but inspired to try and twist as many recording conventions as possible to suit their own purposes — especially years before home computers and software made such manipulation incredibly easy — deserves credit alone. The trio's various sonic collage and Krautrock inspirations still hold sway in many places, ranging from rhythmic chimes slicing through a song mix to more random vocal sample/noise combinations (check out "Dear Mary" for a prime example). Meanwhile, the definition of what a "song" is itself is again tested more often than not. The themes of a fractured, not entirely whole suburbia again hold sway — "A Nice Place to Live" and its juxtaposition of boosterish news reports and dark synth is a fine example — and are further captured in part due to some inspired guest appearances. Wills' mother and aunt duet on accordion and singing for "Harry to the Ferry" — though most of the song is in fact a rather insanely chopped up recording of the process of taping said piece — while Hosler's own mother turns up with "kitchen noises" on the piano/synth improv "Clutch Cargo '81." A couple of the group's most straightforward compositions take a bow on Points, like the home organ bop of "The Answer Is..." (featuring a stuttering Ronald Reagan snippet, first of many politicized digs at the '80s state of mind). The credit list for the album alone is worthy of interest, with the three main members listed as playing, among other things, oven grill, puppies, parakeets, and a banana chair." -Ned Raggett

A1 Harry to the Ferry 2:54
A2 The Answer Is... 4:28
A3 Scolding Box 5:25
A4 That Darn Keet 1:55
A5 Dear Mary 1:49
A6 "Clutch Cargo `81" 3:47
B1 BABAC D'BABC... 5:07
B2 A Nice Place to Live 2:52
B3 A Bee Fly 0:55
B4 No Hands 2:17
B5 Potty Air 5:56

More from Negativland:
"Negativland" (1980)

Recommended listening:
THE RESIDENTS - "The Commercial Album" (1980)
THE RESIDENTS - "Meet the Residents" (1974)
KLAUS SCHULZE - "Irrlicht" (1972)
NEU! - "Neu! 75" (1975)
DER PLAN - "Das Fleisch" (1979)

MISSION OF BURMA - "Signals, Calls, and Marches" (1981)

Boston, MA

This is the first, and only, EP released during Mission of Burma's original lifespan. It's known for the opening track "That's When I Reach for My Revolver", and rightfully so, but the rest of the record is definitely worth paying attention to. Not as good as their follow-up, "Vs.", but that's asking a little too much. This is still good, solid post-punk from America.

A1 That's When I Reach for My Revolver 3:53
A2 Outlaw 2:33
A3 Fame and Fortune 3:35
B1 This Is Not a Photograph 1:57
B2 Red 3:37
B3 All World Cowboy Romance 5:12

More from Mission of Burma:
"Vs." (1982)

Recommended listening:
MINUTEMEN - "The Punch Line" (1981)
WIPERS - "Is This Real?" (1980)


SONIC YOUTH - "Sonic Youth" (1982)

New York City, NY
No Wave/Post-Punk/Noise Rock

While this may not be my favorite release by Sonic Youth (not to say that it's bad at all, or that I can even pick what my favorite record of theirs is anyhow) it's still an important piece of their discography, particurally being that it's the start of it. Sonic Youth's sound on this record is somewhat different than that of their other early releases like Confusion is Sex and the Kill Yr Idols EP, and is more along the lines of other no wave acts such as Teenage Jesus & The Jerks or DNA. Kim Gordon's vocals sound exactly the same as they have throughout the years though. This is definitely a must have for fans of the early no wave scene.

A1 The Burning Spear 3:28
A2 I Dreamed I Dream 5:19
A3 She Is Not Alone 4:07
B1 I Don't Want to Push It 3:36
B2 The Good and the Bad 7:55

Recommended listening:
DNA - "A Taste of DNA" (1981)
MARS - "78+" (1996)


SUICIDE - "First Album" (1977)

New York City, NY
No Wave/Synth Punk/Industrial/Electronic

Suicide was formed in 1971 by Alan Vega (vocals) and Martin Rev (synthesizers/drum machines). They are highly regarded as one of the most influential electronic bands of all time. They are also the oldest band (and one of few remaining) from the original New York no wave scene. Additionally, along with bands like The Screamers, they were early pioneers of the synth punk genre. This is their first record, released in 1977. Essential listening.

A1 Ghost Rider 2:35
A2 Rocket USA 4:17
A3 Cheree 3:48
A4 Johnny 2:09
A5 Girl 3:21
B1 Frankie Teardrop 10:24
B2 Che 4:50

SPK - "Leichenschrei" (1982)

Sydney, Australia

Third album by one of the early industrial scene's best. They have a more mechanical, beat driven sound on this record as opposed the harsh noise on Information Overload Unit. But don't let that fool you, they're still as noisy and destructive as ever.

1 Genetic Transmission 3:17
2 Post-Mortem 2:24
3 Desolation 1:18
4 Napalm (Terminal Patient) 2:39
5 Cry From the Sanatorium 2:26
6 Baby Blue Eyes 2:38
7 Israel 2:46
8 Internal Bleeding 1:46
9 Chamber Music 3:27
10 Despair 4:45
11 The Agony of the Plasma 3:03
12 Day of Pigs 4:18
13 Wars of Islam 4:32
14 Maladia Europa (The European Sickness) 3:50

More from SPK:
"Information Overload Unit" (1980)

SWANS - "Cop" (1984)

New York City, NY
Industrial/No Wave

This is the second full-length by the almighty Swans. I can't even begin to try and attempt to describe how fucked up this band was or how insanely loud and heavy they were, especially for their time. Few bands, if any, can or will ever come close to achieving this sort of greatness. This is essential lisening.

A1 Half Life 4:18
A2 Job 4:46
A3 Why Hide 5:50
A4 Clay Man 5:05
B1 Your Property 4:48
B2 Cop 6:47
B3 Butcher 4:02
B4 Thug 5:12

More from Swans:
"Swans" (1982)
"Filth" (1983)

FACTRIX - "Scheintot" (1981)

San Francisco, CA

I enjoy this record for it's being relatively laid back sounding, unlike much of SPK's early output and more like Throbbing Gristle's generally peaceful moments on 20 Jazz Funk Greats. It very much has it's own sound though. If you like early industrial with a haunting, yet calming atmosphere, this is your record. Highly recommended.

A1 Eerie Lights 4:05
A2 Heavy Breathing 4:58
A3 Center of the Doll 4:56
A4 Thin Line 2:20
A5 Anemone Housing 2:21
B1 Over My Shoulder (And Out of My Life) 3:10
B2 Ballad of the Grim Rider 4:17
B3 Snuff Box 4:43
B4 Phantom Pain 5:05

Recommended listening:
THROBBING GRISTLE - "20 Jazz Funk Greats" (1979)
CABARET VOLTAIRE - "Mix-Up" (1979)

DE BRASSERS - "De Brassers" (1981)

Hamont, Limburg, Belgium

I don't have a lot of info on this band outside of what I found here:
and here:

I don't know if this band really falls under the "gothic" category, but they do have a very dark, brooding sound. Sorry if that seems really cliché. Whatever they are, they're good. So just download it, OK?

A1 They Wanted Us Away
A2 Sick in Your Mind
B1 I Heard the Scream Before
B2 He __________


WIPERS - "Over the Edge" (1983)

Portland, OR

Third album by one of the absolute best.

A1 Over the Edge 3:49
A2 Doom Town 3:56
A3 So Young 4:17
A4 Messenger 1:54
A5 Romeo 4:05
B1 Now Is the Time 3:02
B2 What Is 2:19
B3 No One Wants an Alien 3:23
B4 The Lonely One 3:38
B5 No Generation Gab 3:09
B6 This Time 2:54

More from Wipers:
"Is This Real?" (1980)
"Youth of America" (1981)


WIRE - "154" (1979)

London, England

"By their third album, Wire scarcely resembled the band that a few years earlier had released Pink Flag. They had lost much of their rawness, but none of their edge, pushing into clanging, even chilling, electronic textures and oddly moving their catchiest melodies to the front of the mix, conceding to pop convention even as they perverted it. Of course, pop success was about the furthest thing from their minds, as evidenced by the sonic apocalypse of "A Touching Display" and the fractured synth chords of "On Returning", and the fact that they titled the album's lead single and most accessible song "Map Ref. 41 Degrees N 93 Degrees W". Incredibly, after the restless creativity that culminated in 154, the group claimed that they were fresh out of ideas and disbanded (albeit temporarily), ending one of the greatest three-year runs in rock history." -Joe Tangari

A1 I Should Have Known Better 3:52
A2 Two People in a Room 2:11
A3 The 15th 3:05
A4 The Other Window 2:08
A5 Single K.O. 2:24
A6 A Touching Display 6:57
A7 On Returning 2:07
B1 A Mutual Friend 4:28
B2 Blessed State 3:27
B3 Once Is Enough 3:23
B4 Map Ref. 41°N 93°W 3:40
B5 Indirect Enquiries 3:36
B6 40 Versions 3:28

More from Wire:
"Chairs Missing" (1978)
"The Peel Sessions" (1978)
"Pink Flag" (1977)

Associated acts:
DOME - "Dome" (1980)