What Is It?
(Germs, Dils, Eyes, Spastics, Controllers, Kaos, Agent Orange, Skulls)
Released on May 1, 2010
First off, being a 10” there’s very limited space, so this collection of songs from LA’s first DIY punk label is almost more of a “Best of…” documenting classics like “Forming” by The Germs (plus their cover of Chuck Berry‘s “‘Round and ‘Round”), The Dils‘ “I Hate The Rich,” “Don’t Talk to Me” by The Eyes (featuring a pre-Go-Gos Charlotte Caffey and drummer DJ Bonebrake from X) and The Skulls‘ “On Target” (my personal favorite featuring two future members of Wall of Voodoo), not to mention punk rock greats like The Controllers‘ ultra-un-PC “Killer Queers” and The Controllers’ Johnny Stingray‘s later band Kaos with their frantic “Top Secret.” Yes, it’s some serious rock’n‘roll, my friend, but it doesn’t end there.
See, some early tapes from The Spastics, famous for being the Hollywood punk scene’s most hated band, were unearthed and included on this compilation. So, not only do you get some fantastic songs by LA punk greats, but you also get four previously unreleased songs by a band who had a fire extinguisher fired on them at The Masque. After listening to these songs and not understanding how they could be so hated as their music totally fit into the LA punk sound, I asked What’s founder, Chris Ashford, why everybody hated them. “Well,” he said, “they had a singer (Arthur Zwen) who was very obviously from Beverly Hills.” Too bad, as their songs on this compilation, “I’m a Spaz/Fuck the World” and “Baby, You String Me Up/Your Head Exploding” are fine examples of the frenetic music produced by LA’s punk rock scene at the time.
There’s also a really good Agent Orange surf instrumental, “Out of Limits.