Youth Brigade

To Sell the Truth

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At their peak, Youth Brigade's Stern brothers were one of the many reasons that enlightened U.S. youth were in love with Southern California punk/hardcore. Combining speed, guts, and spunky melodies with Shaun Stern's brainy, insightful lyrics, the Sound and Fury LP (both versions) and compilation tracks such as the smashing "Look in the Mirror" still stand out. Like 1994's comeback, Happy Hour, this LP rehashes that old style as if time stood still -- but so what? A snappy tune such as "We're In" sucks you in long before you notice its salient sarcasm: "Radio friendly and marketability/The new language of the scene/Punk was finally in/Said Rolling Stone and Spin/Old punks don't die/They just cash in." Don't miss "Breakdown," one of those awesome punk tunes, like the days when you were forced to sing along, almost against your will. Between this and the then-new Joykiller, Agent Orange, and Bad Religion LPs, maybe the real lyric should be, "Only old L.A. punks still know how to really do it!"

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