Sound — 10
I know a lot of punk rockers only like the first ten songs from their original EP made back in '82-'83. That's good stuff, but the second half of the CD (songs 11-22) is the great stuff. That 'Reagan Youth' reminds me of Led Zeppelin, yeah! Both guitarists (Al Pike on bass and Paul Cripple on lead) are in sync on the first record. But on the second record, Paul and new bassist Pusi Koorahtz click as if they're reading each other's minds when they shred away on tunes like "Get The Ruler Out" and "Urban Savages". Other songs like "Queen Babylon" or "The Heavy Metal Shuffle" shouldn't be compared to "Go Nowhere" or "Happy?", it's like comparing apples to oranges. When I listen to "What Will The Neighbors Think" it doesn't make me feel any less punk then when I listen to "Anytown". Yet I know I've grown more open minded to different types of music since listening to this CD. And Paul Cripple's guitar riffs on "Jesus was a Communist" are truly magnificent (as a guitar player, that song's my favorite on the whole CD). He's definitely my choice for best all around punk rock guitarist, of all time! This CD must be considered a treasure.
Lyrics — 10
Dave Insurgent is one of the top five punk singers of all time, up there with Ian MacKaye, Jello Biafra, Glenn Danzig and Darby Crash. I just wish the CD came with lyrics included because it's hard to make out what he's saying half the time. From what I can make out, Dave I's political rants and his sharp, witty humor seem to be on target song after song. His in your face, political anthems make you stand and take notice. I also like it when they add that voice that says "Boy, where you going out tonight, boy?" or "My God damned daughter misstng too" in the beginning of songs, it gives the recordings that little something extra that elevates Reagan Youth from their contemporaries.
Overall Impression — 10
This CD is interesting because we hear how the band grew and evolved from the first ten songs (82-83) to the last twelve (1990). All though the speed of the songs have changed and the musicianship (Steve, first album, was a better drummer than Johnny Aztec, second album,in my opinion) is obviously different, it surely makes for a truly interesting listen. Still, whether it's "No Class" from the first half of the CD or "Brave New World" from the second half of it, the songs are undeniably and unmistakenly Reagan Youth. The band was just ahead of it's time, especially when you compare them to their basic 'jump on the bandwagon' hardcore punk peers. This CD has a visionary aspect to it making it a true punk rock classic. No CD collection would be complete without "A Collection Of Pop Classics". These guys are punk rock Gods!