10 April 2018


Another installment in my likely futile quest to reinvent the lost decade of North American DIY punk. For the sake of most arguments in favor of the '90s sucking, the period in question actually spans something like 1988-1998, since by the end of the actual decade I think most people would agree that underground punk had stepped up its collective game in a very real (and very deadly) way. But despite questionable recording quality and an occasional lack of sonic direction (which is still, in my book, often a net positive), the '90s in Canada and the USA were fukkn teeming bands playing their asses off and touring like motherfukkrs - living was cheap and life was sometimes cheaper, and we just went for it. Nuclear war was no longer the boogeyman that dominated the '80s, and Reagan was gone as a whipping boy (GHW was a suitable replacement, of course), which freed bands up to explore subject matter beyond the obvious, often looking inwards in the process with admittedly questionable results. Scores of recordings that have spent years being looked over and dismissed for whatever reason (be it relevant, valid, or superficial) keep resurfacing...enter BUNCHA LOSERS. There's a DEAD MILKMEN vibe lurking, and contemporary East Bay punk surely played a role in this suburban band's development, but drop this tape into a different decade, take the toilet seat off the cover and tell a stranger that it's important, and all of a sudden off kilter (and off time) tracks like "Couldn't Think" become invaluable pieces of history. Context and perception can be as important as content, my friends....

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