Various Artists

Godfathers of L.A. Punk

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Any way you look at it, Los Angeles was a great place for punk fans to be in the late '70s and early '80s. Los Angeles was the home of Black Flag, the Circle Jerks, the Germs, X, the Dickies, and the Alice Bag Band, and L.A.'s KROQ-FM was the most punk-friendly station in the United States -- KROQ was putting punk records in heavy rotation at a time when most rock stations avoided punk like the plague. One of the small indie labels that did its part to document the L.A. punk scene during that era was Siamese Dogs Records, a company co-founded by French producer Philippe Mogane (who is from Paris but was L.A.-based at the time). Assembled in 2005, this excellent compilation looks back on Siamese Dogs' contributions to L.A.'s old-school punk scene. From the Controllers (not to be confused with the Alabama soul group) to the Attitude to the Weasels, Godfathers of L.A. Punk brilliantly captures the excitement and urgency that characterized the southern California punk scene back in the day. This 57-minute CD boasts the Weasels' infamous "Beat Her with a Rake," a sick but totally infectious exercise in dark humor that combines punk with hints of Black Sabbath. The Weasels weren't the only band that combined punk and metal in the late '70s, but they were definitely among the pioneers in that area. Speaking of pioneers, Godfathers of L.A. Punk also contains some tracks by Iggy Pop & the Stooges, including 1973's "Gimme Some Skin" (which is a perfect example of a punk record that was recorded before the term "punk rock" was invented). Pop wasn't a Californian -- he was from Michigan -- but he worked with Mogane and was way ahead of his time. Godfathers of L.A. Punk is a disc that fans of early punk should make a point of obtaining.

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