The Avengers - Died for Your Sins
If you don't buy this album, somebody ought to really
come and kick your fucking ass. It is a comprehensive
collection of the songs of one of the most important
bands in the early punk movement, The Avengers.
Because I was a dumbass I waited until 1976 to be born
and so was only two when the Avengers were playing
their best shows. If I'd been a prodigy like Mozart
or Falco though, I think my ideal gig would have been
to drum for the Avengers at Mabhuay gardens.
Penelope Houston's voice is raw and snotty in true
punk girl style. It's the sort of voice that makes
frat boys say "What a fucking bitch" while thinking
"God I wish a girl like that would look at me without
spitting in my direction."
Lyrically, the Avengers were honest. There is no
glossed over sugary sweet clever pop punk element
here, but there also isn't the "Bitch about the
government and pass the thesaurus" sense--these aren't
nice suburban kids with angst nor are they art school
rejects. This is more social punk sometimes
political--lyrics about what it's like to try to live
in times like they lived in (right on the
Carter/Reagan cusp, between the yippies and the
yuppies, when art could be a true threat).
Instrumentally, they were good. The drumming is first
rate, the guitar is effective (as effective as say
East Bay Ray or Patty Smear) and the bass playing is
first rate. There are similarities between the
Avengers and The Rezillos and there are riffs that
Stiff Little Fingers and Killing Joke obviously ripped
off (later ripped off by Nirvana).
Lookout! Records has done a real service by issuing
this CD. Anybody who claims to be a punk rocker must
own this CD, and anybody who never saw what the big
fucking deal about punk was may just get a sense of
what the big deal is after a couple of listens.
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