Sound: Rare topic about punk music can exist without "true-ness" factor. Some find Sum 41 to be punk-rock, others say "F#ck 00s! That number-bands' pop-punk is crap, Epitaph bands are real punk", some label 80s Bad Religion (or Exploited) as true punk, few people go deeper and give Black Flag and Minor Threat the credit for their stance, even British class of '76 or Ramones can be mentioned (The Stooges and New York Dolls were NEVER punk). Is that it? I've always believed, that a genuine art can not be popular and mainstream, simply by design. Here's when bands like Angry Samoans come out. Formed in 1978 in Los Angeles, fronted by singer/guitarist Mike Saunders, Angry Samoans actually lasted for ten years, splitting/joining occasionally after.
"Inside My Brain" was their first record, released in 1980 and represents everything a punk record should be. Dirty guitar riffs, simple bass lines, "forbidden" drum beats and lines, spitted in your face. Angry? -Yes. Rawkin'? -Sure. Protest? -Maybe. Punk? -Definitely. You don't have to be a profound musician or skilled singer to play THAT kind of music (Angry Samoans never were), all you gotta do is be honest with what you deliver. // 8
Lyrics: Songs on "Inside My Brain" do not necessarily call for arms or oppose anything. It's just that "hey, I just don't give a f*ck!" early Sex Pistols kinda thing. Singer Mike Saunders is both quirky and angry with his lyrics, he comments on what's happening around him. Some teenage riot ("My Old Man's A Fatso"), some sarcasm ("I'm A Pig", "Hot Cars", "Gimme Sopor"), some hidden thoughts ("Right Side Of My Mind", "Inside My Brain") here and there, otherwise it's apathy and depression. One certain cut ("Get Off The Air") deserves special attention. Written about a long-time LA/Hollywood scenemaker (and KROQ DJ, beginning in 1976) Rodney Bingenheimer and basically telling him to GET OFF THE AIR, this song epitomized what a punk band should do - oppose the dinosaurs. Rodney himself was not so enthusiastic and banned Angry Samoans from appearing in most LA/Hollywood proper punk clubs. What a "pathetic male queer"! // 8
Overall Impression: "Inside My Brain" can be compared to the first records of the Germs, X, Black Flag, Circle Jerks or Adolescents, however not in their favor. Angry Samoans created a classic punk record without much effort, a record that any of their California scene fellow punk musicians can site as an influence. Still, it was totally ignored by the media at the time of release (and after as well). Best songs are "Right Side Of My Mind" and "Get Off The Air".
If a friend comes up to me and says: "Hey, what's a punk rock? Never heard any, can give me some key records to listen?", "Inside My Brain" would definitely be among my recommendations. // 9