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The Weirdos

Band: Weirdos
Album: Demos & Rehearsals
Country: USA
Release Date: 197?

1. Bad [Demo] 2:20

2. It Means Nothing [Demo] 2:33

3. Scream Baby Scream [Demo] 1:55

4. We Got the Neutron Bomb [Demo] 2:10

5. Life of Crime [Demo] 2:17

6. Teenage [Demo] 2:38

7. Why Do You Exist? [Demo] 1:46

8. Destroy All Music [Demo] 1:36

9. Do the Dance [Demo] 1:20

10. Message From the Underworld [Demo] 2:15

11. Go Kid Hugo [Demo] 2:03


Band: Weirdos
Album: Weird World Volume 1
Country: USA
Release Date: 1991

It's rather ironic that while Los Angeles was the capitol of the American recording industry in the mid-to-late '70s, most of the seminal bands of the original New York punk rock scene (the Ramones, Television, Patti Smith, Talking Heads) were able to score major-label contracts, but nearly all of their West Coast contemporaries were ignored, having to rely on fledgling independent labels like Dangerhouse or What? if they wanted to be heard on plastic. Consequently, several important bands, such as Crime and the Screamers, managed to slip through the cracks without ever releasing a proper album, and the Weirdos, who were one of the first major bands to emerge from the L.A. punk underground, broke up in 1981 without making an LP. (They did reunite for a spell in the 1990s, recording an album called Condor with the help of friend and fan Flea.) Fortunately, the Weirdos did manage to release a handful of singles and EPs during their 1977-1981 heyday, as well as demoing plenty of material that never saw release, and Weird World, Vol. 1 collects 14 superb cuts that set the record straight -- the Weirdos were, quite simply, one of the best and brightest American bands of punk's first wave. Dix Denney's hard, angular guitar lines suggested melody without sacrificing any of his propulsive punch, while the various rhythm sections were invariably tight, hard-driving, and energetic (the band went through four drummers and five bassists in five years; one of the group's bass players, Cliff Roman, was originally their rhythm guitarist, and wrote a handful of superb songs, including "Teenage" and "Life of Crime"). And vocalist John Denny was a genius frontman; manic, funny, and just a little disturbing, John could pour a world of passion and meaning into a nonsense lyric like "Bop helium bar tonight!," and his more coherent numbers, like "We've Got the Neutron Bomb" and "Pagan" were as hilarious as the Ramones but with a genuinely ominous undercurrent their funny-punk brethren couldn't touch (check the claustrophobic "Solitary Confinement"). Weird World, Vol. 1 is hardly the final word on this great band, but if you want concrete proof that the Weirdos were the great unsung heroes of L.A. punk, you could hardly do better.

1.Weird World3:02
2.Arms Race2:21
4.Helium Bar3:22
5.Rhythm Syndrome2:22
7.Fort U.S.A.3:12
8.Happy People2:33
9.Message From the Underworld2:35
11.I'm Not Like You2:36
12.We Got The Neutron Bomb2:59
13.Solitary Confinement2:30
14.Life Of Crime2:19


Band: Weirdos
Album: Weird World Volume 2
Country: USA
Release Date: 2003

A mere 12 years after Weird World, Vol. 1, volume two (with We Got the Neutron Bomb given as the dominant title) appeared to mop up odds and ends that hadn't appeared on the first anthology of material by the early L.A. punk band the Weirdos. As you might expect from a band that recorded infrequently and sporadically, there's a ragtag feel to this compilation. Ten of the 16 tracks, indeed, were previously unreleased; also tacked on are the late-'70s singles "We Got the Neutron Bomb" and "Destroy All Music," "Skateboards to Hell" (the B-side of a 1979 Denney Brothers single), "Hey Big Oil" (from the Denney Brothers' 1981 LP), and two songs from the 1990 Weirdos LP Condor. Although the material spans a dozen years (with a big gap between 1982 and 1988), the sound actually doesn't change much. It's straightforward ominous snarling punk, not quite hardcore but getting there, not too big on melody but not one-chord thrash either. A bit of experimental industrial rock creeps into the Denney Brothers' instrumentals "Hey Big Oil" and "Skateboards to Hell," and some rockabilly revivalism into the 1980 live-in-the-studio covers of Link Wray's "Fat Back" and Hank Mizell's "Jungle Rock." It's the late-'70s material that fans will probably be most hungry for, though, including not just the "We Got the Neutron Bomb" and "Destroy All Music" singles, but also a live 1978 track and two slightly crudely recorded 1977 live-in-the-studio numbers. Those are the freshest-sounding cuts on the set, "We Got the Neutron Bomb" sounding a little like a gallows Ramones in its sardonicism, though it all seems a lot less shocking and novel than it did back in the day.

2.Cyclops Helicopter2:02
3.7 & 7 Is1:50
4.Shining Silver Light3:22
5.What Will You Do?2:29
6.Hey Big Oil2:20
7.It Means Nothing2:36
8.The Hideout3:34
9.Jungle Rock2:45
10.Fat Back2:14
11.Skateboards to Hell3:42
12.Barbaric Americana3:37
13.We Got The Neutron Bomb2:58
14.Destroy All Music1:37
15.I Want What I Want2:41
16.I'm Not Like You3:10