culture / Listen. / music / Words.

Mornings With Phono Select: Turn Up The Hits

Down at its new location on Florin 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!

The Autistics-Turn Up The Hits (2017)

Puke N Vomit Records

In the late years of the 1970s, punk rock in America was branching out. From the Ramones’ ironic pop choruses to the harder riffs of Black Flag, the possible interpretations of the newly founded genre was up for grabs. However, one thing was for certain at this point: most punk didn’t have a horns section behind their often three-chord, less than two-minute songs.  

The Autistics were a five-piece Los Angeles band that ventured into different territories with rockabilly (“Dr. Nick”), ska (“Autistic”), and the borderline of new wave (“Don’t Call Me”) with punk. These styles were explored on only three EPs from the time period of 1981-1984, and instead of working on political or socially conscious themes, the band focused on sarcasm and angst of living at home.

This anthology of all the band’s recorded material displays the how they paved the way for future pop-punk bands. For example, “Teen Idol” shows us the dream of longing to be loved while you’re jumping on your bed with a tennis racket as your Fender Strat.

These songs are simple, short, and straight anthems but even immaturity has the limits too.  What draws the album to a halt is just one track: “Asian Drivers.” Punk has always been one way to jab at society’s taboos or add social commentary, but there is a fine line of when the immaturity goes too far, becoming damaging and offensive. Certainly, punk rock has its quirks and this track in question does not represent the genre as a whole. However, it does take the shine off of the possible legacy of this band.

Words: Jake Monka.

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