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Destroy All Music

The Weirdos

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Album Review

The Weirdos were the first great band to emerge from the L.A. punk scene, but while they were local heroes, they weren't able to score the elusive record deal that passed by nearly every worthy band on the original West Coast scene (except the Dickies), and it's hard not to get misty-eyed about the Weirdos album that could have been. This collection of demos and previously released tracks from Bomp isn't the great lost Weirdos LP, but it gives some idea of what it might have sounded like. Destroy All Music includes the Weirdos' storming three-song debut single from 1977, the more polished but still impressive 1979 EP Who? What? When? Where? Why?, and early demos for four tunes (three of which also appeared on the first single, but "Life of Crime," "Why Do You Exist" and "Destroy All Music" are good enough that you won't mind hearing them twice). The demos and the "Destroy All Music" single are similarly raw, but while the recording quality is a bit harsh the band burns bright, and the songs are brilliant. The six tunes from Who? What? When? Where? Why? were produced by Earle Mankey and he brought a more organized approach to the sessions, and the results lack a bit of the manic intensity of the other tracks. However, Dix Denney and Cliff Roman's guitars still cut deep, John Denney's vocals are fevered and mesmerizing, and "Hit Man" and "Fort U.S.A." rank with the Weirdos' very best songs. This collection would have been even better if the group's Dangerhouse single ("We Got the Neutron Bomb"/"Solitary Confinement") had been included, but even without those tunes this is a brilliant look at the Weirdos' formative years, and represents early L.A. punk at its finest.

Biography

Formed: 1977

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '70s, '80s

One of Southern California's earliest punk bands, the Weirdos released two EPs during the late '70s before breaking up; consistent reunion gigs during the '80s kept their name alive, and the group returned to the studio in 1988 for Condor, released two years later. The backbone — and only constant members — of the Weirdos, brothers John and Dix Denney (vocals and guitar, respectively), formed the band in 1977 with bassist Cliff Roman and drummer Nickey Beat. By the time the band recorded...
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Destroy All Music, The Weirdos
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