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Personal Best

Team Dresch

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Album Review

Of all the punk records to come out of the 1990s, Personal Best comes closest to actually recapturing the sheer passion and rage which originally spawned the movement two decades earlier; where other bands whine on endlessly about running out of beer money or losing the right to skateboard in the park, Team Dresch confront real issues — bigotry, oppression, religion, self-worth — with a sense of conviction and immediacy that lays to waste everything in their path. For an album that lasts less than 25 minutes, Personal Best is a draining, relentless experience — it explodes on contact, the cumulative result of years of pent-up anger, frustration and desperation finally allowed release. What distinguishes Team Dresch from the vast majority of their queercore compatriots is that they never put their politics ahead of their songs — each of these ten tracks is airtight, with melodies as blistering as the lyrics. And while some songs are explicitly polemical — "Hate the Christian Right!" would undoubtedly send Ralph Reed into apoplectic fits — and others like "Growing Up in Springfield" are deeply personal, there's ultimately no separating the two; Personal Best is above all a call-to-arms, which in the end is exactly what a great punk record should be.

Biography

Formed: Portland, OR

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Queercore revolutionaries Team Dresch formed in Portland, OR in late 1993, originally comprising bassist Donna Dresch (formerly of bands ranging from Dangermouse to Dinosaur Jr.), singer/guitarist Jody Bleyle (also of Hazel), singer/guitarist Kaia Wilson (ex-Adickdid) and Spinanes drummer Scott Plouf. The group played its first show on New Year's Day 1994 minus a name, considering Magic Animal and Dyke Access Road before finally agreeing on Team Dresch; after recording their Kill Rock Stars debut...
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Personal Best, Team Dresch
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