Bruisers

The Authorized Bruisers: Anything You Want

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Not quite a complete retrospective of the Bruisers' early career, this 28-track compilation hits the high points of the band's first six years (1988 to 1994), including all of their early singles and the best tracks from the cassette-only 1991 album Independence Day. These Boston street punks -- best-known as the band lead singer Al Barr was in for years before he joined the Dropkick Murphys in 1999 -- never quite fit in on the local scene in their early days (when the town was ruled by the ska-oriented Mighty Mighty Bosstones in one corner, and the power -pop likes of the Lemonheads and the Blake Babies in the other), but they were among the town's finest pure punk bands at the time, somewhat more sober heirs to Gang Green's alcohol-fueled blitzkrieg of gruff, shoutalong vocals and hyperspeed guitar blurs. ("Somewhat" being the operative word: see the self-explanatory "Brown Paper Bag" for details.) The Bruisers have a greater sense of history, though, covering Oi! classics like the Oppressed's "Work Together," and the Blitz's "Nation on Fire" alongside a revved-up version of the Buddy Holly classic "Ollie Vee."

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