Minutemen-The Punch Line

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On early works like their first full-length release, 1981's THE PUNCH LINE, the Minutemen fashioned a unique hybrid out of the ashes of punk. At a time when pop music was heading into increasingly slick territory, the Minutemen strictly adhered to punk's short and fast aesthetic, but replaced punk's thunderous chords and nihilism with sprightly funk and politically savvy subject matter. The seriousness and extreme pointedness of their lyrics set the band apart from the American hardcore indie scene of 1981.

While their SST label-mates Husker Du were singing about urban ennui and youthful frustration, the Minutemen, on the brisk title track, lambaste General George A. Custer. Not exactly cars-n-girls stuff. And yet their uncompromising approach and lo-fi fury struck a chord, earning them a passionate fan base. These 18 songs, with stripped-down titles like \Tension\ and \Fanatics,\ are short, fierce bursts--most clock in somewhere between thirty and fifty seconds. The affect of Boon\'s shouted vocals and skewed funk riffs combined with the hard-charging rhythm section of George Hurley and Mike Watt is rock at its primal best.