For a band whose significance as path-beaters between early ’70s outlaw country and early ’90s No Depressionism grows ever more indelible, Green On Red’s back catalogue has been appallingly mishandled. Gas Food Lodging from 1985 (which was an Uncut Classic Album in October 2002) remains a defining example of howling country-punk, featuring Dan Stuart’s vicious rasp. On the likes of “Hair Of The Dog”, the music joins the dots between Merle Haggard and The Replacements.
Meanwhile, the Tucson band’s eponymous 1982 mini-album debut, though less fierce (Stuart had yet to explode; stinging guitarist Chuck Prophet wouldn’t join for another two years), still holds a rowdy, dank-basement charm. This will do until that box set arrives.