Official Press Description: "The first release, the succinctly titled 1st EP, is a limited edition 7" that comes with an exclusive poster courtesy of Raymond Pettibon, the living legend responsible for Black Flag's overall visual aesthetic. LA-based OFF! features Keith Morris (Black Flag/Circle Jerks), Dimitri Coats (Burning Brides), Steven McDonald (Redd Kross), and Mario Rubalcaba (Earthless/Hot Snakes/Rocket From the Crypt). "So...does the old guy still have it? Would you listen to this band even if KM was not in it? is it really good, or just good for an old guy?
YES! YES! YES!
This is Black Flag/Circle Jerks lo-fi craziness. Desperate screams and cursed pleas emit over strong riffs.
"Black Thoughts" taut and frantic. so-cal punk gem "I can't stop thinking black thoughts!" ...55 seconds
"Darkness" this must be a lost black flag song from '78. Incredible. Caustic howls scratch past Morris' throat over a dark riff.
"I Don't Belong" ..."i'm standing in the shadows and i'm pissing in the punch bowl". This one is a touch slower. a good creepy crawl stomp. 57 seconds of eerie and bitter.
"Upside Down" Big riff of (again) '80 level Circle Jerks feel. i guess you can say catchy - but not pop or melodic. this is gritty punk rock and roll. 47 seconds.
So. expect three more ep's at 4 songs a piece over the next three months.
Intense early hardcore punk fro the dude that helped create the sound and rebellion and energy of this distilled emotional music. Raw production and vocals bring home the paranoid and sinister spite towards nrmal society. Just as vicious and relevant as 30 years ago.
And again, it's not just sentimental. If 4 20 year olds in Texas were putting this out as their first ep, they would the same review.
and yes, cover art by Pettibon. damn.
*** and mario rubalcaba was always one of my favorite skaters and i had a deck by him i loved...new school.
This review was taken with permission from the excellent Empty Hands PVD blog.
Label: Vice Records