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Monuments to Excess

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Album Review

Ten years ago when emo was young, this late San Francisco four were the West Coast's answer to the peaking D.C. Dischord roster of Fugazi and other such bands. This second reissue of their lone 1990 self-titled LP, originally on the Rough Trade subsidiary Sixth International (with seven bonus tracks from four 7" releases), is a good example of where it all began. Jim Allison and Mike Kirsch's vocals are brutally shouted, tunefully, with great angst and an antagonistic sense of wrong. The band is as resolute, fast, and edgy as its lyrics (clue: a picture of Woody Guthrie with his "This machine kills fascists" guitar graces the inner sleeve), and is at its best when its Adolescents-derived So-Cal soaring leads step up. It all has that stamp of authenticity to it, of people inspired by a new movement to say and play something bestial and important. It has the urgency that a substantial chunk of underground post-punk/post-hardcore music had during the second half of the '80s. Now it doesn't seem so unique, but that's what happens when you and others make a mold that is later overcopied. This original version of emo was a lot more hardcore, a lot more out there and intense than the sometimes more polite version of today's more easily replicated kind. This required a total physical and emotional charge. (P.O. Box 460402; San Francisco, CA 94146-0402)

Customer Reviews

if you don't know who mike kirsch is...

listen up, jerks, this fuel was around way before that other 'alternative' fuel became an entity. this album is filled with way more vigor and desperation than that other band could even imagine; it ignites with passion and fury that is not without its own melody and, above all else, its own vibrant sincerity. every band featuring mike kirsch has that, from this to torches to rome to bread and circuits to colbom. the man is brilliant. on second thought, yeah. you're right. this isn't the fuel you're looking for. move along, folks...

Fuel - The Punk Band (San Francisco)

Some are going to be confused. This Fuel is a punk band and the other (whose page you're on) is hard rock. Personally, I love THIS Fuel!!!! During the time East Bay punk was exploding, this band was among the few who remain a seminal part of that scene. Mike Kirsch also played and sang in another band called "Pinhead Gunpower" along with Billie Joe Armstrong and Aaron Cometbus. Call this emo, punk, or whatever...the point is IT'S EXCELLENT! Those thinking this is the OTHER band will a) be disappointed b) like it or hate it...I LOVE IT, SO THERE!


It is Fuel...the good Fuel...

Monuments to Excess, Fuel
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Customer Ratings