Album #466 – Group Sex

Album #466

Despite the questionable title, Circle Jerks’ first album was significant. It is probably the shortest album on the list so far, clocking in at just over 15 minutes. Their sound and stance helped define hardcore punk, the US equivalent to the UK punk scene. Yes, there was punk music before hardcore’s dominance of the early 80’s but, hardcore was more raw, unfiltered and wild. Much like the Sex Pistols, the Circle Jerks are mad and defy authority. All 14 tracks on this album are under 2 minutes, which makes for a short album. But, you can instantly feel the anger, humor and mood this band was in. Their lead singer, Keith Morris, can’t really sing. He is yelling over the fast, hard music but, like Johnny Rotten, his points come through. Hardcore would be come not only a type of music but, a lifestyle. There was no glamour, no polished sound or look. Instead, hardcore punk and the Circle Jerks in particular, spoke to people just like them. They were the minority in society and every song represents those feelings. While I may disagree with the album’s title, I don’t disagree with the spirit of this group. Many people misunderstood punk and what it stood for. At times, it is scary and shocking but, at its core is the heart of rock n’ roll: musical rebellion. That is what the Circle Jerks do on this album more than anything else. Highlights include: Deny Everything, Beverly Hills, Operation, Back Against The Wall, Wasted, Paid Vacation, Don’t Care, Live Fast Die Young and What’s Your Problem. Overall, I give Group Sex, 4.5 out of 5.

Next: Remain In Light by Talking Heads

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