Featuring the Ramones, Patti Smith, The Modern Lovers and some undiscovered treats

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36 DESCENDENTS
Milo Goes To College
NEW ALLIANCE, 1982

There is no better articulation of male hormonal rage than Milo Goes To College. Recorded at the height of hardcore by four high-school-aged fishermen hopped up on caffeine, Milo distilled years of adolescent angst, outcast frustration and unconsummated hard-ons into 22 minutes of thrashy bops propelled by furious basslines and simple melodies. Milo Aukerman’s adenoidal delivery of lyrics like “You’re just flesh and blood like all the rest/You’ll get old and have a wrinkled ass” is the voice of all the boys from the wrong side of the tracks in the John Hughes movies finally expressing their sublimated rage. Inevitably for an LP made by lovesick male teens, there’s some unfortunate sexism and homophobia, but as the success of Green Day, Blink 182, et al (who owe their careers to this record) shows, sometimes everyone feels like a 15-year-old with an acne breakout on prom night. PS

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37 BAD BRAINS
Bad Brains
ROIR, 1982

Former jazzers Bad Brains used their considerable chops to oblique ends on this classic debut album. The band’s intensity – engaging on stage, singer HR at times cutting a Little Richard kind of dash – is terrifying on record, the likes of “Don’t Need It” dropping you without warning into the eye of their hurricane. Notable also for its roaring guitar solos and for its occasional forays into reggae, it was a formative influence on the Beastie Boys – who soon cultivated their
own magpie take on punk. JR

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38 MISFITS
Walk Among Us
RUBY/SLASH, 1982

A slasher-movie Ramones, the Misfits – named in honour of Marilyn Monroe’s last film – owe their musical resurrection and band T-shirt ubiquity to the patronage of Metallica, who recorded a mash-up of “Last Caress” and “Green Hell” on their “The $5.98 EP: Garage Days Re-Revisited” in 1987. Fabulously theatrical despite a desperately low budget, the New Jersey-ites released a trail of superb, sci-fi-besotted singles before reaching critical mass on Walk Among Us, “Skulls” perfectly encapsulating frontman Glenn Danzig’s ability to conjure up the spirits of Elvis Presley and Vincent Price simultaneously. A fave from the grave. JW

  1. 1. Introduction
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