SF punk originators saved from neglect

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Crime – San Francisco’s Still Doomed

Far from New York, America’s West Coast punks were struggling just to be heard back in ’76. At their forefront were Crime, four greasers in cop uniforms whose bile-spattered extrapolations of The Stooges and rockabilly provided a San Franciscan correlative to The Ramones.

Largely ignored during their lifetime, Crime’s legend is justified by this expanded reissue of a 1992 compilation: two thrillingly crude demo sessions that are the closest they ever came to an album. The “Hot Wire My Heart”debut single (memorably covered by Sonic Youth) is essential, too: reckless, indignant, the very dumb essence of rock’n’roll.