The Avengers - Died for Your Sins
Lookout! Records

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.
...ron provine...

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