Album #536 – Out of Step

Album #536

Man, was this an album that I could relate to. But, it isn’t for the faint of heart. Out of Step by Minor Threat is the perfect soundtrack to teen angst. Many of the songs lyrics came out of frustrations with society, romantic relationships and being an outsider. I could relate to so many of these songs because I have had these feelings. I find much of the music made today lacks this honesty and anger. And that bums me out. You have to get angry, every once in a while. In fact, the type of music Minor Threat was making was outside of the mainstream. Hardcore punk was the closest American music got to the British punk scene of the late 70’s: raw, brash, honest, vulgar and in your face. At the center of Minor Threat is Ian MacKaye, lead singer and reluctant front man. MacKaye’s lyrics are almost entirely inaudible but, when you look them up, they mean something strong. I’ll be the first to admit that the first time I listened to the album, I had to look up the lyrics. But, I instantly got what they were trying to say. Their music wasn’t a joke, it says something. MacKaye’s singing style is part spoken, part singing and mostly yelling. It is outside of the box and unique, just like his band mates. Unlike Black Flag, I never felt like this was all one big joke to the band. Their songs, like many amazing bands, capture their feelings and thoughts perfectly. But, this isn’t one sloppy mess. Make no mistake, Minor Threat is an amazing group of musicians. They can play BUT, they choose to do it their way. Fast and loud!!! A style has that been lost on the current generation of musicians. Where’s the honesty? Where’s the feeling? God, I wish I could have discovered this album when I was 16. It probably would have changed my life. But, Ian MacKaye has changed many people’s lives. In fact, it was MacKaye who brought the straight edge lifestyle to the masses. And yet, MacKaye never intended for it to be popular, go figure. MacKaye would go on to be a record producer and front the band Fugazi, among other projects. But, Out of Step was a great musical testament for not only him and his bandmates, but an entire generation. It’s always the innovators who set the pace and capture our true feelings, whether we want to hear them or not. Ian MacKaye and Minor Threat did that perfectly on their one and only full-length album. Highlights include: Betray, Look Back and Laugh, Sob Story, Out of Step and Cashing In. Overall, I give Out of Step, 4.5 out of 5.

Next: 1984 by Van Halen

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