Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Review #115: Reagan Youth - Youth Anthems for the New Order (1984)


Year: 1984
Genre: Punk Rock
Label: R Radical Records

11 Minutes (Short)
My Rating:

The Reagan Youth are a hardcore punk band from New York that formed in 1980. While the band still continues on today, their original form lasted from 1980 to 1990. Formed by two kids who went to Forest Hills High School (the same school the Ramones went to!), they were originally called "Pus", and then they changed their name to "Reagan Youth" soon afterwards -- by the end of the year, the band was playing shows. During the early '80s they put a few songs on a few compilations, but it wasn't 'till 1984 (the year everyone thought Ronald Reagan was going to eat us all ALIIIIVE) that the band decided to record their first album. I'm pretty amused by their choices of artwork -- always using Nazi and KKK imagery for their album art. Pretty funny if you think about it... I'll bet some punk kids back in the '80s never touched these guys' stuff because they actually thought that the Reagan Youth were supposed to be a PRO-NAZI, PRO-RACISM, PRO-REAGAN band. Couldn't be further from the truth -- the members of the band were peace-loving anarchists who hated hate itself (just listen to the song if ya don't believe me). But yeah, this iz their first album, and it's really short but the songs are all good so let's listen to it.

1. Reagan Youth
The band's theme song. This was on the "P.E.A.C.E." compilation (which had SO MANY songs on it) also. The lyrics are a satire on the far-right who want to "purge the heathen kind", kill pagans, watch television all day, and kill some damn commies! Musically, it's extremely catchy and cool-sounding -- fast. The band chants "WE ARE THE REAGAN YOUTH! HEIL HEIL HEIL!" in the chorus. As soon as I heard this song, I knew this band would be awesome.

2. New Aryans
The song starts out with a venomous fake proclamation of pride in being a "white amerikan". The second verse is a reaction to these sentiments, saying "Death to the Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan!", going on to incite "Anarchy in the fatherland". NEW ORDER? NO ORDER. DISORDER!! Once again, the music's really cool, goes along with the lyrics for some reason. The music sounds very vengeful and angry. There's a lot of lead guitar going on the foreground, in a sort of Black Flag-ish way.

3. (Are You) Happy?
Great riff, great bass. The song makes fun of people who try to convince themselves they're happy, when their life is really empty and "the joke's on them". This could be said for a lot of people we see these days.

4. No Class
A song about non-conformity. God, the guitar on this song sounds so sexy. It's really cool. Anyways, the song's about how people and the hardcore scene itself have tried to turn the singer into another clone, but he just wants to be himself and be his own "undescribable undefinable unique self" instead of climb the social ladder. I feel like people try to do this to me a lot. End of Side 1.

5. I Hate Hate
Well, look at that... a song about hating hate! The first verse describes a person who hates everything and everyone, only for that verse to end in the statement: "all you hate is all you are!"... we're all guilty of it, but in the end, I guess hate is a pretty lame thing. It makes a good point of not hating the only life you get to live. It's one of the faster songs on the record, like the first song.

6. Degenerated
This song's about one of those dumb kids who doesn't care about much except for fucking girls (to prove that he's a man), watching television, and eating junk food all day. Basically what most of the other kids my age are like. However, Johnny grows up to become an even dumber, bigger loser. HE WAS A TEENAGE ZOMBIE! JUST LIKE ALL OF THE OTHER FUCKS! I'm gonna love it when all these fuckers who thought life was so great in high school end up really big losers when they're old. Who needs 'em? I guess I'm "hating" again, though... love the solo in this song, it's awesome. Very cool song.

7. (You're A) Go Nowhere
The riff here kinda reminds me of the Ramones, only better. It's the slowest song on the album, but that makes it even more cool! The song expands upon the theme of "Degenerated", except here they're talking about a whole generation of kids! And I'll say, my generation is the biggest generation of go-nowheres you've ever seen, man. Hah hah hawwwwwwww. "Living your life on a conveyer belt". That's all, folks!

Hey, did you know that their PHYSICS TEACHER left the school to become a punk rocker and become a roadie for the band? Pretty cool, huh? Well, believe it or not, the band never put out anything else until after they stopped performing. In 1989, when Ronald Reagan left office and the band stopped playing shows, they were approached by New Red Archives to put out two more albums. The first one was called "Volume 1", and it was THIS album, but with three more songs on it. The second one was called "Volume 2" (whaddayaknow?), and it contained some all-new songs that they recorded in the studio in 1990. But I must say, this is a very awesome album. It's furious, it makes valid and relevant points, and the songs are great! Reagan Youth is definitely a band that I'm glad I've just really got into. So, I strongly recommend checking out this album, and you can find all of its contents in the easier-to-obtain "A Collection of Pop Classics" which has almost all of their songs. Seeya.

Top 3 Favorites:
1. New Aryans
(You're A) Go Nowhere
3. (Are You) Happy?

No comments:

Post a Comment