Various Artists

This Is Boston, Not L.A.

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For many punk rock enthusiasts, Boston isn't the first city that comes to mind when thinking of American cities that boasted a strong punk scene in the late '70s and early '80s. While Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco were famous for their punk scenes, Boston's punk scene didn't enjoy nearly as much publicity. But make no mistake: Boston was a punk hotbed back then, and Modern Method Records tried to spread the word with this obscure but excellent compilation. Released in 1982, This Is Boston, Not L.A. spotlights seven Boston punk bands of the late '70s and early '80s: Jerry's Kids, Gang Green, the F.U.'s, the Freeze, the Proletariat, Decadence, and the Groinoids. While the Proletariat -- a very political band with Marxist/socialist leanings -- is heavily influenced by British punk, most of the other bands have more in common with L.A. residents like Black Flag and the Circle Jerks. But whoever their influences are, all of these bands have very substantial, hard-hitting lyrics -- the subject matter ranges from alcoholism on the Freeze's "It's Only Alcohol" and war on Gang Green's "Kill a Commie" to the excesses of slam dancing on Decadence's "Slam." This Is Boston, Not L.A. isn't the last word on Boston's late '70s/early '80s punk scene, but it paints an impressive picture of the Beantown punks who were active during that era.

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