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Giant Robot >> If you bought all the Reagan Youth bootlegs and demo tapes from the Flipside classifieds and then collected the best tracks, it would sound a lot like this CD. The sound quality fluctuates, theres some in-between-songs banter, and some tunes even repeat, but its all grade circle-A punk rock featuring peace, unity, anarchy, and a good sense of humor. If you listen to the Misfits, Bad Brains, or Beastie boys, this collection of songs and liner notes provides a reference to the nexus of scenes that spawned them all.
Heckler #5.6, June 98 >> Dave Insurgent, the passionate and political lead singer of Reagan Youth (one of the most significant New York hardcore bands of the early 80s) became yet another one of punk rocks drug suicide casualties after losing his mother to a car accident and his girlfriend to serial killer Joel Rifkin. The sad story of Daves demise, as told by bassist Al Pike and the UK Subs Nicky Garratt on hard-t-read-but-worthwhile liner notes, serves as a fitting backdrop to this brand-new Live and Rare release from veteran punk label, New Red Archives. The vast majority of tracks on this were recorded at CBGBs., the undeniable hub of the NYC hardcore/punk scene. Raw and raging, the 13 live and five studio tracks put you right into the heart of the pit, especially with songs like Urban Savages, the full-throttle, dystopian Brave New World, and I Hate Hate, which is also included as a studio-mixed track. The band, consisting of Dave, Al, drummer Steve and guitarist Paul Cripple, are tight and fearless; theres a wild enthusiasm that penetrates each and every song. Check out New Aryans, where Dave goes off on a Nazi-attired audience member near the stage who mistakenly assumed that Reagan Youth were a pro-conservative right-wing band. Whoops. Couldnt have been further from the truth.
FOE #40, May 98 >> Reagan Youth were one of the first and most underrated NYHC bands. They were/are an important band. I would recommend you obtain their releases. These guys, just like Agnostic Front, could bring my adrenaline level up just by the mention of their name. Bands like these were hardcore, they generated unlimited energy and tension. This cd is recorded surprisingly well, for live hardcore from 1983. Actually I think I like the live versions of songs like Acid Rain more than the originals... So what the fuck, just go and get some Reagan Youth, whether it is this or some other stuff. they were one of the first hardcore bands to play the Lehigh Valley, they opened for the Misfits at NCACC in October of 1982.
Speck #3, May 98 >> Unfortunately RY are no longer with us and after the sad demise of frontman Dave, who went the way of dope, crime, depression and death. Now, about 5 years after the bands implosion, NRA is releasing this collection of out-takes and live performances that make for a swell album on its own. Like many good punk bands around that time, RY had their eyes on the hypocrisy of politics, religion, and economic systems of America. They meant something. Not just the fuckin boring whining about emotions and self loathing and crap that challenges nothing. Here are 18 tracks of unheard or live versions of Reagan Youth when things were still being held together, even if only by a strand of mozzarella.
Spank #24, May 98 >> Its nice to see this classic NYC political hardcore bands material back in circulation. When I hear a lot of this neo-metal hardcore pretension, it makes me think of bands like Reagan Youth, cause thats what I remember hardcore sounding like. This collection of live (mostly from CBGBs) and alternate studio tracks serves as a nice memorial not only to deceased singer Dave Insurgent, but also to all the guys that played with him. A must for fans, and a lesson for the rookies. You may not know it, but this is where you came from.
Social Front #3, May 98 >> Leave it to me, the new school poser, to not have any Reagan Youth until this piece of joy came to me doorstep and what a piece of joy it is. For all of my fellow idiots, I will do a review of this great masterpiece of punk rock legacy. Reagan Youth has the kind of raw energy that todays polished and pretty recording instruments cant get. They sing songs about hating Nazis, which is always a triple plus in my book. They convey a political arrogance that few bands will even consider anymore. My opinion is one of complete love and adoration for this anger fueled punk of the past.
Jersey Beat #62, April 98 >> The inevitable whitewashed 80s nostalgia horseshit craze is already beginning, so its a very good thing that this punk rock album, a terrifically toxic product of a truly satanic, nihilistic, fucked-up era, has been released to remind everyone that the Greed Decade was anything but some utterly bogus good old days type of deal. The 17 tracks found herein, culled from various live gigs and studio sessions done in 82 and 83, address such bleak, troubling, and uniquely 80s subjects as nuclear annihilation, skinheads, teenage degeneracy, acid rain, a banal, repressive future where everyone is a lot alike (this one is currently happening all around us, what with political correctness rigidly conditioning everyone to be nondescript drones and canceling out any faint trace of individuality), and mass unemployment with a forceful, confrontational, unwavering ferocity thats a true hallmark of the best, most provocative punk rock music. Moreover, this album serves as a first-rate musical monument to late, great, lovably obnoxious frontman Dave Insurgent, whose snotty, sneering, righteously pissed-off vocals roar over a heavy, surging, intensely rhythmic guitar-driven sound that never lets up on the driving beats and rapid-fire attempts. A timely, top-notch reminder that punk rock was very much alive, angry and kicking serious ass throughout the 80s as well as a sterling affirmation of just how nasty, brutal, and morally confused that decade really was.
Tail Spins #30, April 98 >> This compilation captures Reagan Youth in its most genuine context: live at CBGBs in 1983. Also included are early studio tracks from 1982 and 1983. The CBGB tracks are raw yet crisp and give a cool taste of the clubs atmosphere when Reagan Youth churned out its political rants. On New Aryans, taken from a CBGB show, the band dedicates the song to a man in the crowd dressed in Nazi regalia, and then turns on the hate geek by sing Death to the Nazis and the KU Klux Klan. The guitar work is phenomenal, and the musics undeniable intensity is a sheer pleasure.
Slug & Lettuce #53, April 98 >> Reagan Youth were one of my first favorite hardcore bands. Im getting tired of the re-releasing and re-hashing of this band cause the first 12 is still my favorite. However, this collection does a lot to exemplify the band. The live recordings and stage talk and reading what they wrote about each song and the band history in general gives it a sentimental flavor and makes it all worth it. The recordings are mostly live (and good). Their most awesome songs are included on here, exemplifying their die hard energy and attitude and complete with their uniqueness and oddness shining through.
Flipside #111, April 98 >> Seventeen rare live and basement tapes from one of New Yorks earliest, maybe best at the time, hardcore bands. Buncha Live tracks from CBGB in 83, with lots of witty commentary from their late singer Dave Insurgent, including the priceless New Aryans where Dave singles out a Nazi in the crowd (seig heil, you fuckin Nazis!) and totally takes the piss outta him: Death to the Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan (fuck you!)/anarchy in the Fatherland! and the audience pitches right in on the songs. A few early 82-83 studio tracks, plus one from 88. Two versions of the classic Degenerated which D-Generation has lately tuned into a big anthem in their live show. Extensive liner notes from band members and producer Nicky Garratt. Excellent audio restoration. This isnt some sludgy wasteland, its all clear as a bell, and makes you remember just how good early hardcore could be. Max entertainment value! Absolutely a must for anyones punkrock collection.
Under the Volcano #42, March 98 >> One of the few New York bands that I wish I got to see as a kid. This CD wraps up the mystery for me. 18 songs live and rare. Punk Rock the way it was meant to be includes my three favorite Reagan Youth tunes, Degenerated, Go Nowhere and No Class. Pissed off angry early 80s HC. Great release. Pick it up.
Sound Views #49, March 98 >> This disc is easily my pick of the issue, for both quality and sentimental reasons. Includes demo and live versions of all the Reagan Youth classics, with clear sound and prime stage banter from the sadly deceased Dave Insurgent (check out his into to New Aryans). 18 tracks of New York City perfection from the second best band to come out of Queens. The liner notes are quite good. You must own this.
Far From Home #8, March 98 >> A live album that captures the classic songs raw and full of energy. They didnt go back into the studio and fix mistakes. They left it how it was, just how it should be. Ironically when Ronald Reagan left the white house, they also officially disbanded. Get this record and see what you missed out on.
MRR #177, January 98 >> This is so beautiful. Im almost not sure how to put just how fucking great this is into words. Thirteen live recordings, which, for the most part are incredibly good sound quality, plus a bonus of demo versions of four previously released songs, and a one minute long noise filler track. and it doesnt stop there. You also get detailed liner notes telling the story from beginning to the sad (and too soon) end. REAGAN YOUTH were undeniably PUNK and had the same cynical and controversial sense of humor and attitude which carried over to other New York punk bands like BORN AGAINST, and you can definitely tell that from these live tracks. Not only buy this for a history lesson in punk , but pick up their entire back catalog while at your local record boutique.