Los Olvidados

Listen to This

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One of L.A.'s great hidden secrets in the early '80s was los Olvidados, a skatepunk outfit that never really fit into the local scene, roaring out of San Jose with a sneering venom that was more in tune with their New York contemporaries. Never quite adapting to the savage California hardcore scene, los Olvidados disbanded by 1983, but in the band's wake lie some excellent recordings that have luckily been collected by Alternative Tentacles as Listen to This. The music was fast and mean, but the guitars suggested a rock influence that extended beyond the basic punk formula. "Goin' Down" is a brooding dirge that could have easily come out of the Stooges' canon, while "So Dull" has the guitar-drenched attitude of a great Heartbreakers song. Toward the end of its career, the band did add hardcore touches to its material, resulting in discordant and moody thrashers like "Pay Salvation." But no matter what los Olvidados were attempting, the songwriting was consistently great, leaving behind a strong (if brief) catalog. The band may not be as recognizable as X or the Minutemen, but Listen to This is a snide and angry collection that should appeal to fans of classic punk rock.

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