Various Artists

Guillotined at the Hangar: Shielded by Death, Vol. 2

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This is a rather good document of the Connecticut region's pop, punk, pop-punk, garage, and other high energy music -- all called simply "punk" by curator Keith Grave. The completely overlooked, always-hoped-for-greater Hartford foursome October Days was one of them, and their "West Coast" 7" included here is the sort of mainlined collision between total rock 'n' roll drive and song that was so abundant then, in those Buzzcocks/Undertones/Pointed Sticks/Last/Adolescents days. (Do whatever you can to find their later, actually even better EP.) Ditto their neighbors International Q, who sound like Connecticut's answer to the early Jam. Others like New London's always rockin' the Reducers came down to New York often, and brought with them both their thick pub rock/roaring punk mix, and tales of the other bands here, such as the twisted world of Jack Tragic & the Unfortunates. Now, you have to wonder what Grave was thinking, including such hardcore-when-it-was-new stalwarts like the Outpatients, and Chronic Disorder, and yet totally bypass the truly thriving Bridgeport scene that gave us the hottest band of all of these, the early C.I.A. -- as well as the three other main bands of that vital scene of friends, Lost Generation, Reflex from Pain, and Vatican Commandos. Too bad!!! But what's here is the sort of snotty, gritty, crazy, blasting, primitive, catchy, and celebratory punk of that last pre-thrash time, by a bunch of no-names, and if you can't give it up for the Vandelz shaking their dirty guitars to sing about "Lance Link Secret Chimp," the old cool cartoon character, than let's get the lead out! There's no losers on this comp, just a trusty rock 'n' roll hour full of obscure greats that still kick down the doors to the party 20 years later.

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