Channel 3

To Whom It May Concern

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This Cerritos foursome was among 40 remarkable bands spawned by L.A. punk's second wave, 1979-1983 (Social Distortion, Black Flag, Bad Religion, T.S.O.L., Adolescents, Descendents, Agent Orange, Gears, Youth Brigade, Circle Jerks, etc.). Compared to the madcap, individualistic 1977-1979 Hollywood punks, these kids were younger (high school/college), faster, suburban, and somewhat uniform, but still kick-ass riffers -- unlike the later thrash hardcore that destroyed everything. And though nine of these 1981 demos were re-recorded for their 1981 debut EP (three of five) and 1982's Fear of Life (six of 12), the demos are thunderous. Channel 3 tightened up later, but the raw attack and heavy, piercing guitars of that first EP are even hotter, meaner, and thicker here, making classics such as "Manzanar" (a WWII concentration camp for American/Japanese) and "I Got a Gun" wilder and trashier. Meanwhile, Fear of Life cuts like the startling "You Make Me Feel Cheap" sound like that first EP. Add their live cover staple (like Patti Smith's version) of the Who's 1965 U.K. number three "My Generation," and three songs never heard before, and To Whom "concerns" anyone who loved CH3 or exciting punk, period. [On colored vinyl, with CD version included.]