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4 Great Thrash Songs

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Album Review

The title 4 Great Thrash Songs is in the tradition of Throbbing Gristle's 20 Jazz Funk Greats, with the added fillip that unlike the Gristle's album, four great thrash songs is what the average listener would expect from a band named Victim's Family on the Alternative Tentacles label. Ralph Spight was never particularly interested in sticking to expectations, however, and while there are certainly more than four great thrash songs stuck in among the 23 tracks, this career-spanning live recording (documenting the group's last gig, from 1994) also gives a nod to the elements of prog metal ("Nirvana" and "Ugly Thing"), power pop ("Song X"), Minutemen-style punk-jazz ("Yeah!" and "Creepy People"), and anything else that struck Spight's fancy and ended up in his sarcastic, complex, but surprisingly user-friendly songs.


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

The Santa Rosa, CA, outfit Victim's Family formed in 1984 (the original lineup consisted of guitarist/vocalist Ralph Spight, bassist Larry Boothroyd, and drummer Devon VrMeer), and since its inception, the trio has refused to be pigeonholed to any single musical style -- incorporating elements of hardcore punk, jazz, funk, hard rock, and noise into its challenging sound. After signing to the independent Mordam Records in the mid-'80s (a label which included another hard-to-categorize act, Faith No...
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