Various Artists

Punk Rock! From the World of Mystic Records

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The Hollywood-based Mystic Records was not, by any means, the best-known or most important punk label operating out of southern California -- for example, New Alliance, Slash, Frontier, and Posh Boy all had greater impacts. But Mystic, founded by former major-label honcho Doug Moody, is fondly remembered by true hardcore devotees for its uncompromising allegiance to unknown bands, a large percentage of which stayed that way and now populate this collection of previously hard to find and downright rare tracks. The leadoff is by a band that certainly did not remain unknown but did get its start at Mystic, Suicidal Tendencies. The 1983 recording of the still hilarious "I Saw Your Mommy" contained herein was the band's first effort, later recut for its debut album on Frontier. Its nearly dirge-like first section is anything but hardcore -- but not to worry, it soon kicks into gear and, like most of the material presented on this 20-track compilation, transforms into something thoroughly brutal. Of the other bands collected here, NOFX are perhaps the best known, represented by "Mom's Rules," originally from a Mystic 7" EP. A number of rarities will entice collectors, among them Aryan Disgrace's lone Mystic single, the not so charmingly titled "Faggot in the Family," and JFA's "Middle America."

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