Southern Los Angeles experimental punk band Mood of Defiance was formed inHermosa Beach in 1981, spinning off from a short-lived synthesizer project called Kindled Imagination, formed in nearby San Pedro (home to The Minutemen) with drummer Richie Wilder of Saccharine Trust. Teenaged lead singer and band originator Rachel Morgan, who was known as “Screaming Bitch Rachel” and later, Hatha Watha, formed MOD with Wilder, recruiting initial guitarist TA Black and bassist Kevin Ball from a music press advertisement. Debut demo recordings (eventually issued as In A Box) featured this line-up but after Black and Ball quit the band, they were replaced by Danny Dean Philips and Gary Kail from the band Anti, moonlighting in this side project for debut album Now, released on Philips’ and Kail’s aptly-titled New Underground label in 1982; other band members featured on the disc include drummer Thaddeus. Opener “Divided States Of America” set the disc’s defiant punk tone, though “Sticky Lips” and “Girl In A Painting” are less caustic, with broader musical dexterity and post-punk rhythmic references. An important piece of southern Calfornia punk history back on vinyl after 38 years.