Agony Shorthand

Monday, February 28, 2005

In my Californiacentricity I often forget how friggin' great Texas punk was in the late 70s. This compilation helps one to remember. Better than the "Bloodstains Across Texas" LP, yet containing many of the same tracks, "OUTLAWS IN MY EYE - TEXAS" has 28 rare cuts from the Lone Star state's bustling late 70s underground, including some all-time classics like THE VAMPS' "Carving Knife" (wow!), THE NEXT's "Cheap Rewards" (aka "We Hate the Rich - Destroy Them") and the SKUNKS' "Earthquake Shake". Not to mention the HUNS' "Busy Kids", which seems to have morphed into the all-time representative anthem of Texas Punk, "Dicks Hate The Police" notwithstanding. (Side note - I was severely chastised by Steve Turner in 1988 when a young MUDHONEY played on my radio show, & I asked him what that last song they played was -- a cover of "Hate The Police". "You call yourself collector scum?? You're no collector scum! I'm ashamed" etc.). This stuff's so good that I'm forced to reckon that an attitude adjustment is in other words, if it came from LA in 1978 I'd likely be putting some of these winners on a par with The Bags, Weirdos, Germs, etc. -- or at least The Controllers, Joneses or Middle Class. Even the original "John Wayne Was a Nazi" by THE STAINS is first rate -- even though the band took a quick slide down the dumper when they moved to San Francisco soon thereafter & became a leftist/commie cliche called MILLIONS OF DEAD COPS (I could write a paragraphs-long takedown on the damage those guys did to the scene, but maybe another time). The CD is way too heavy on the overrated NERVEBREAKERS, who were total power pop simps & who have six yawner tracks on this collection, but otherwise it's top drawer. Now the trouble is finding it. I found mine here.

(Side note: One related comp to definitely pass on is a seven-inch 1990s collection of early Texas punk called "Unquestionably Late For The Trend" , featuring demos & live stuff from Vomit Pigs, Dot Vaeth Group, Skuds and Superman's Girlfriend. Not a noteworthy track in the bunch, I'm afraid).