Various Artists

Hell Comes to Your House, Vol. 1

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

Hell yes. This was an extremely popular (and nicely varied) compilation of the balmy, blasting-off 1980-1981 L.A. punk explosion (100 new bands that flowed right out of the original 1977-1979 outbreak there) upon its release in 1981. It remains the best place to hear the truck engine-thick classic Mommy's Little Monster lineup of Social Distortion, who were never captured better outside of the "1945" single, yet these two cuts, including the superior original version of "Telling Them" were left off 1995's Mainliner early-SD retrospective. Similarly, this is the hot peak of punk-era Legal Weapon aside from Your Weapon, Red Cross covers the New York Dolls' "Puss 'n' Boots" before becoming Redd Kross, and Dangerhouse holdover Rhino 39 likewise stand out with their speedy charge. Modern Warfare are underrated, .45 Grave are overrated but unique with their dry-ice keyboards, and post-punk smarties 100 Flowers sound as clever and raspy as when they were the 1977-1980 Urinals. A pre-goth Christian Death also opens up the formula. Only rote, three-chord crap never-weres Secret Hate, Conservatives, and Super Heroines bore, dragging down this album's score. But like the Public Service sampler that same year, a completely complimentary LP, Hell's compilers showed discerning taste in brand-new bands. The alive feel of a wild time when 15 to 24 year olds pulsed with raw energy still inspires. By volume two, it was mostly all over.

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