Before Dave Smalley took the microphone for Dag Nasty, Shawn Brown was the vocalist in the band’s original lineup from August of 1985 to February of 1986. Brown was booted, as Brian Baker, Colin Sears, and Roger Marbury pursued a more melodic direction; however, the songs from this session -- on Halloween 1985 -- were later re-recorded with Smalley and released as Dag Nasty’s first album, Can I Say. Bootlegs made their rounds in the punk underground circuit in various forms, until Ian MacKaye had the original recording remastered for this 2010 Dischord release -- which sounds fantastic. Ultimately, it becomes a matter of preference between Brown or Smalley. Brown sounds way more urgent with his hardcore shouting style -- and if that’s your thing, this beats the pants off the sterile Can I Say version.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Lymangrover