Down at its new location on Fruitridge Blvd, Phono Select Records is a fixture for all your vinyl hunting inquiries. With their inventory ranging from indie, hardcore, reggae, punk and every genre you can think of, owner Dal Basi always seems to have something in the racks that will pique your curiosity. Once a week, Basi will pick a release and ask us to spread the gospel of his recent finds. If you like them, and, most importantly, collect, then come down to the store and support!
Morbid Opera – Collection (2017)
During the early 1980s in America, punk music infected Los Angeles, New York, Boston, San Francisco, and Washington D.C.; resulting in some of the most influential bands to come out of the genre. With that in mind, listening to the reissue of Morbid Opera’s career-spanning compilation, one would never have imagined that the band originally hailed from Miami, FL.
The band, which is three-quarters female, has the rawness of English punk, while at the same time embracing the new sounds of American punk. They play with many different styles throughout the compilation, with lead singer Lisa Hodapp bellowing on tracks like “Sledgehammer” and “Liar”; but turning towards more post-punk and surf guitars reminisce of earlier bands such as The Slits to The Germs on tracks like “Deep End.” To counteract their influence from the beach, “Rosary of Pain” is an example from the Iggy and the Stooges rulebook: raw feedback and a heart-pounding beat that could leave the front row trembling.
After their dissolution, Morbid Opera remained separated until a brief reunion gathering in 2008. The group was chameleon-like in their adoption and use of many different styles of punk during their short run. From clean guitar and harmonies to buzzsaw guitars and growls, the band established themselves as a staple in their tropical state. With this reissue comes links for live recordings and a 16-page booklet with liner notes, lyrics and archives of show flyers. Check it out and discover a hidden gem of American punk.
Words: Jake Monka