Offenders - Endless Struggle / We Must Rebel / I Hate Myself
This reporter finds it ridiculously beyond ironic that in retrospect Ronald Reagan is considered one of the greatest American presidents of the last century. I can only sadly shake my head and assume memory is absolutely selective. And, of course, subjective.
I remember the 80s well. The military “police actions” into Grenada and Nicaragua (and now America is abhorred by Putin?), the corporate tax breaks and “Reaganonics” which, more and more every day, have effectively shown a stalemate, if not utter collapse, of our economy. And, let’s not even talk about the foolhardy “War On Drugs”.
Early in the 80s decade, there was a socio-political musical and cultural movement: Hardcore. The anarchists, punks, and dissidents banded together to thumb their noses at authority and do everything possible to gum up the gears of the Reagan faithful. Remember that disgusting term “Young Republicans”? My guts churn while remembering it all.
One of the most fearsome and relentless bands of the hardcore era are honored now with a 2 record reissue celebrating the juggernaut majesty of their guts and glory non-conformist music. These are the Offenders, people. Texas hardcore. Everything is a little bigger in Texas.
Combining the full length releases ‘We Must Rebel’ and ‘Endless Struggle’ with the “I Hate Myself” single, documented here are 25 massive, brutal, and borderline dangerous songs of the revolution. While the tempos shift often, the speed-core moments of these songs are among the most impressive of the genre. Pat Doyle’s precise and inventive drumming keeps the breakneck pace, but with almost Keith Moon-like flourishes and abandon. Not reckless abandon, however. Doyle’s beats are locked-in and on target constantly.
Time has not been kind to the original Offenders line-up. Metal-punk guitar warrior Anthony Johnson and bass god Mikey Offender have both since passed away, but their contributions to this music can not be understated. The bass lines alone are beyond amazing. Mikey had ability and an overall sound that is almost indescribable. Heavy and power-driven, yet with a dexterity and innate sense of melody that set these songs apart from more generic hardcore or thrash metal.
Beautifully packaged, all artwork restored, and two luscious 180 gram vinyl records, this is a well deserved tribute to an indispensable band. Every track is vital (and still painfully relevant in 2014) but my personal favorite recommendations include: “You Got A Right”, “Endless Struggle”, “When Push Comes To Shove”, “Fight Back”, and “We Must Rebel”. Play loud. Loud enough so those young republicans next door can hear it.