Los Angeles review by X

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  • Released: Mar 31, 1980
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 4.8 (22 votes)
X: Los Angeles

Sound — 10
When I first came across this band I expected another hyper-masculine L.A. punk band along the lines of The Circle Jerks. What I found was a pleasant suprise. I had found a band that mixed punk with a rockabilly influence mixed with Morrison-esque lyrics about rape and leaving your hometown. The bi-gender vocals of John Doe and Exene Cervenka accent the music perfectly and make one of the best singing duos of all time. Definately one of the best bands to emerge from the L.A. hardcore scene in the 80's.

Lyrics — 10
The lyrics may be the best thing about this album. Your typical L.A. punk at the time featured more in-your-face lyrics (ala Black Flag, The Germs, etc.) but these lyrics are almost in a sense poetic. John Doe's voice is not your typical punk bark, he sings with a more haunting vocal style that compliments the music perfectly. Exene has a very feminine yet powerful voice throughout the record and in the rare cases when her voice cracks it makes the record feel more "authentic". The lyrics of this album send a chill down my spine every time I listen to them.

Overall Impression — 10
This is an AMAZING record. Besides the obvious favorites like "Johnny Hit and Run Pauline" and the Doors cover "Soul Kitchen", some of this albums standout tracks are "Nausea" which carries on with an almost fatal battle march feel to it. "Your Phones Off the Hook but Your Not" is a great track for its almost pop-like catchiness but ability to still maintain a punk snarl. Ray Manzarek of Doors fame produced this album and did an amazing job of capturing one of the best bands of all time (regardless of genre) in their prime. If this album was stolen I would without a doubt in my mind buy it again.

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