"L.A. Explosion" CD reissue
Genres: power pop, L.A. punk, pop-punk
PO Box 7112
Burbank, CA 91510
Mar 31 - Apr 6 2003
did we become so disgusted by the blending of punk with pop in the
form of Avril Lavigne? How detached have we become from a
time when the two genres used to go hand-in-hand? Remember The
Buzzcocks? Remember The Undertones? Remember The Last?
L.A Explosion was The Last's debut album.
Starting off a relatively obscure career on a relatively obscure (and
yet important) Burbank, California label - that being Bomp! Records -
the band were to record some of the best L.A punk nuggets ever to be
committed to tape. And listening now, many people will be
surprised to discover how dang catchy they are.
Short and succinct, the fifteen songs on L.A. Explosion (as
well as the six reissue-exclusive bonus tracks) run the gamut
from cheery pop ("This Kind of Feeling," "Every Summer
Day") to neat-o psych ("She Don't Know Why I'm Here,"
"Bombing of London,") to Buzzcock-y punk-pop ("I
Don't Want To Be In Love," "Looking At You").
It's a perfect mix, and it characterizes a perfect debut album by a
band of hooligans who were formed before the Sex Pistols even
released their first single. Influenced as much by the sixties
"punk" sound as the Ramone climate that the band had
been born unto, they were certainly a creative lot. Stray genres also find solace in L.A.
Explosion - "Slavedriver," for example, has a powerful
surf guitar part, and the album's third last song just happens to be a
cover of "Be-Bop-A-Lula."
The bonus tracks, meanwhile, are a Last fan's most sacred
dream. Alternate, more psychedelic versions of "She
Don't Know Why I'm Here" (which I personally like very much) and
"Bombing of London" are included from their 1977 debut 45.
Then comes different versions of "Every Summer Day" and
"Hitler's Brother," the latter of which was a b-side of the
"Every Summer Day" single from 1978. An early
version of the album's title-track (from the 1978 single) is also
included. Then, to top things off, the band's spaced out
contribution to Bomp Records' Waves compilation is thrown in
for good measure. Poising ultra-modified vocals over a heavily
distorted guitar/drum/bass background, it sounds as it was a Jupiter
import from the 60s.
To be blunt, this could be the best reissue of 2003 so far.
21 songs, distributed by the
label, orig. released 1979; reissued 2003]