Crime – San Francisco’s Still Doomed

SF punk originators saved from neglect

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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.


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The Velvet Underground, The Black Crowes, Bunny Wailer, Richard Thompson, Nick Cave, Rhiannon Giddens, Laurie Anderson, Blake Mills, Postcard Records, Mogwai and The Selecter