Released in 1992, The Germ was the last album by the original incarnation of Victim's Family before their (temporary, as it turned out) breakup. Four records and eight years into the Bay Area trio's career, The Germ is fairly far removed from the band's hardcore roots; songs like "I Pissed On a Tree" and "Mind You" are closer to the tripped-out indie psychedelia of Screaming Trees or Meat Puppets, and the fractured instrumental passages of "New World Hors d'Oeuvre" and "Baklava," as well as the quirky jazz-thrash of "Er What?," owe as much to late-era Captain Beefheart as they do to the Minutemen. (The closing found sounds and atmosphere of "Lack of Interest" and the untitled piano solo at the album's end are even further removed from hardcore orthodoxy.) The lyrically punchy "Who Needs It" and "Instant Gratification," on the other hand, are good old-fashioned hardcore punch-ups, giving The Germ a grounding that a more purely experimental album might lack.
AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason