Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Minor Threat - Minor Threat

Minor Threat – Minor Threat
Dischord, 1981
Acquired: Hot Topic, New, 2002
Price: $9

In a world where modern rock has gone down the toilet into the sewer where “pop songs” are five minutes long and consist of repeating a half-assed hook in a chorus that sounds identical to the verse over and over, Minor Threat is reminding me why I loved punk rock in the first place: Because people like Ian MacKaye understand pop songwriting! They understand that a good pop song should be less than 3 minutes long (in their case, everthing is sped up so it's around 2 minutes) because otherwise people will get bored. Especially when you're throwing distorted power chords at people and spitting socio-political lyrics. Plus you can only throw down in a pit for so long before you need a break. The songs truck along at a good pace and before you know it the record is over! This insures repeat listening, unlike the boring ass five and a half minute modern rock songs perpetuated by bands that won't even make the slightest dent in music history. Yes, the chords are recycled song after song but it's punk rock! They only have like, 10 chords to work with anyway! And out of all the punk bands, Minor Threat sounds the most like a middle finger. And yes, I did get this at the Hot Topic at the Great Mall of the Great Plains when I was 16. I'd recently acquired a turntable and I remember a sticker on the front that said something like “It just sounds better on vinyl.” The clerk commented on it, and I felt kind of sorry for those guys because as much as they might have loved to trash on me for buying a seminal punk rock record at a chain store in the mall, they were part of it. While Complete Discography is what everyone has, I think this is basically that boiled down. It's their first two Eps and it's got all the best songs including their cover of “Steppin' Stone” in addition to well, all the good songs! Yes, this is best experienced between the ages of 16 and 18 but it holds up remarkably well and is easily one of the greatest punk rock records of all time, if only because no one would dare dispute that. Minor Threat is on the same plane as the Ramones and the Clash. Seriously, would you dispute that? No, you wouldn't. Yes, this band influenced my straight edge practices in high school, but even when I was an alcoholic with a cigarette hanging out of my mouth I still loved this band. And now that I've reverted to my straight edge ways (because ultimately, for the most part, Ian MacKaye was right) because booze and smoke were fucking up my body, I like this even more. Yes, I do enjoy things in moderation, but there's a sort of PMA, overall hate for everything that is wrong or exploitative that's hard to ignore. Although, not too long I saw a friend of mine's boyfriend (who is a drug dealer) wearing a Minor Threat shirt and commented on it without even realizing the irony. He did, I think. Which is fine, because shit, there really isn't any music better to throw down to.

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