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Jesus Loves the Left

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Album Review

This 20-track compilation includes everything from the Left's sole EP (1984's It's the World) and sole LP (1985's Last Train to Hagerstown), as well as the track they contributed to the 1983 compilation Train to Disaster ("You're So") and four previously unissued 1992 recordings. It's the complete legacy of a band who, though they didn't get a ton of press while active, stood up to much of what was recorded by better-known bands of the period that kept the punk flame burning. Close to, but not quite, hardcore, it was a pinch more melodic and indebted to hard rock, metal, and garage than much other punk of the time, though many hardcore elements were there in the pummeling rapid rhythms, defiant and nasty lyrics, sullen yet anthemic singing, and darkly brooding riffs. The four 1992 tracks are fairly similar in tone to their mid-'80s work, though these were done by a slightly altered lineup, with Rod Smith replacing Kevin Sefsic on bass. The CD also features historical liner notes, photos, and artwork done for their original vinyl releases.


Genre: Rock

Years Active:

Though their base of Hagerstown, MD, put them off the map of most media that track even emerging alternative bands, the Left made an EP and an LP of near-hardcore punk in the mid-'80s that attracted some critical attention before breaking up. A little more flexible in their rhythms, influences, and melodies than the standard punk-hardcore band of the era, the Left nevertheless fit more or less within that genre with their wiry, speedy, fuzzy songs, sarcastic angry lyrics, and surly vocals. They did...
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