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Classic Compilations: Hell Comes to Your House

The early moments of any scene deserve to be properly captured and maintained as historical artifact. If nothing else, it’s possible that at ant moment, the bands involved could just all fold and call it a day. It’d be a stretch to say ‘Thank God’ for Hell Comes to Your House, Vol. 01, but there’s unquestionably a spate of tunes here that might not have made it through to the twenty first century if it was issued as a series of singles. This here write up doesn’t include everyone represented on the disc, just some names that might be familiar and some surprising works…

Social Distortion

There’s been more than enough written about these guys. And oddly enough, if you have forty or so dollars, you can still catch ‘em live. It might not be worth it any more, but it would have been back in 1981. Even with that, though, both tracks represented here are easily found any number of other places.

Legal Weapon

These folks come off as one of the stronger female fronted acts from the left coast’s early scene – and yes, that includes the Avengers and X. And in referencing that latter band, if Exene had taken over, Legal Weapon might have been the result. Whoever fronts LW even sports similar phrasing with that better known singer.

 Red Cross

Prior to running into a bit of trouble with its namesake, the band goes in on a surprisingly adept New York Dolls cover. The fact that this band was so bloody young at the time of this particular recording should make pretty much every other punk band feel bad about themselves. Switching its name to include a ‘k’ in lieu of that ‘c’ didn’t do any good, though.

Secret Hate

Out of the lesser known groups here, these guys don’t rate too highly. The two tracks Secret Hate (still a great name) contribute just don’t register when set up next to a few of these other groups. “Deception” comes off as being just this side of alright.

Conservatives

There’s probably a band with this name from every town’s early punk scene. It’s still a decent moniker, but what’s even better are the songs the Conservatives turn in.  “Just Cuz,” even at this early date in punk’s history, examines some scene politicing. The sentiment’s still relevant today – and probably won’t stop being a needed point of discussion in the future. “Nervous,” by contrast, is the kind of examination of the human condition that teenage punk kids somehow found so easy to discuss. There’s another track discussing haughty broads, but the effort seems a bit contrived after hearing those two aforementioned works. 

100 Flowers

Yeah, they used to be the Urinals. And no, there aren’t too many bands more adept at working up odd lyrics to compliment a punk cum pop construction. 100 Flowers’ lone contribution here isn’t detached from the Urinals’ legacy, but still kinda comes off as a cut rate Cramps rip off.

Rhino 39

A recently issued compilation includes “Marry It,” so this group might not be essential listening amongst this crop of bands. This track, though, features a twisted concept of what slide guitar should sound like while still representing one of the group’s poppier efforts.