Various Artists

Dope, Guns and Fucking in the Streets, Vols. 1-3

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The dark forces at Amphetamine Reptile have always exhibited good taste in their compilations, and the first collection in the Dope Guns ‘N Fucking In The Streets series is a perfect example. Featuring cutting edge noise rock from all aspects of the genre, this shines a light on the ugly underground of alternative rock that would eventually mutate into the successful grunge music of the early nineties. Of course, like most good influences, this music is far more abrasive and experimental than the bands that came after them. The Thrown Ups spit out the brutal "Traffic Accident Sex" in less than a minute, while the Cows test the listener's patience with the hilariously primal "Almost A God". Tar comes off as the Red Hot Chili Peppers filtered through Godflesh with their awesome "Antlers", and The God Bullies shed some of the noise to make the strangely groovy "Tell Me". The Lonely Moans and Mudhoney make some of the best music on the disc, seething with energy, anger, and an odd ear for melody. Surgery takes the prize with "Action Candy," a punchy punk lurch that showcases the potential that was cut short by the tragic death of their singer. Most of the bands don't do anything different than what they would on their albums, but with bands like King Snake Roost and Halo Of Flies that is a very good sign indeed. The whole affair ends with the frightening "Intro/End" by Pogo The Clown, bringing a eerie closure to the aural assault. Although it would have been nice to hear The Melvins or The Butthole Surfers included, the album does not feel like it's missing anything. Casual listeners beware, this is ugly, brutal music that does not lend itself to melody or tunefulness. Music fans looking to view the best of the noise rock underworld should look no further, this is a definitive overview of the scene at the time.

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