The Boston Strangler – Primitive LP (Fun With Smack)


Wow, where to begin? I mean obviously this is a great record, but for whatever reason it’s become so much more. So much more that some people are losing the ability to put together a coherent thought about it, when what “it” is, is just a perfectly-executed Boston hardcore record, made by guys who’ve been holding major strands of that city’s punk/HC/rock scenes together for the past decade (if I got paid to write this shit, and wanted to push my word count, I’d list all of the bands these five guys have in their amalgamated history, but you’re smart enough that I don’t need to, and if you need to be told, this record might not be for you). There’s a lot to be said for pure statements, particularly ones this clear-cut; we’re not looking at formula here so much as another notch on the practice space wall from people who don’t make anything but quality. Lyrics aren’t too much of a surprise, but this thing holds together so well, ratchets up when it needs to, fires off totally out of control moments with the very model of controlled precision, particularly in DFJ’s drumming. What else do you expect from edge men? You look at a song like “Overcrowded” and realize that to be part of the thing they belong to, you have to contribute, but that’s a lesson you only learn by participating rather than being spectators, and having someone scream at you about how you don’t belong there is the most direct way at explaining why. This is probably more than anyone’s written about the music on Primitive so far, and there is a lot more to discuss: the jokey subversion of Fascist iconography in the band’s logo, which lampoons the conservatism that’s nudged up to bands like this in the past; the notion that Boston could turn its HC scene into a national league, and have the Strangler battle Rival Mob in the playoffs (they even have their own theme song, as most notable HC bands do) if not for DFJ having to play on both teams; the concept that a number of the people who bought this LP had to clear out the rest of Fun With Smack’s (fully worthwhile) back catalog in order to obtain it. It’s also a record that’s become instantly speculative, released in a way that made it hard for people not paying attention to obtain, and policed to the point where eBay grip-and-flippers were named and shamed, and bids artificially inflated beyond the $500 mark (those copies for $90 on Discogs should stay there, as an identical and easier-to-obtain repress is on its way). If only all insta-bonzers were this solid. (no website; this thing is everywhere on the Internet and yet nowhere)
(Doug Mosurock)

  1. still-single posted this