Crisis: Kollectiv 2x12"
So, La Vida Es Un Mus reissued Crisis's great full-length a couple of years ago, but this is the Crisis reissue I was really waiting for. If you don't know Crisis, along with Zounds and the Mob they kind of form the holy trinity of melodic-anarcho-post-punk (sorry, I couldn't fit any more adjectives in there!). Taking musical influence from bands like Joy Division and fusing it with the politics of Crass, these were some of the best punk bands ever, and Crisis is right at the top of the pack. One of the members also famously went on to form Death in June, whose early records at least have a similar melodic sensibility to Crisis. Now that we have that out of the way, here we have two entire LPs devoted to the band's early career. Side A plays the band's three immaculate singles straight through, and you'd be hard-pressed to find a stronger run of three singles outside the mainstream '77 set that everyone knows... all of the a-sides and b-sides are great, and "Holocaust" (the a-side to their first single) is an all-time punk anthem. Moving onto side two, we have a demo session from 1978 including alternate versions of a couple of tracks also on the singles and the LP as well as two unreleased tracks (though they did appear on the Holocaust Hymns CD collection released some years ago). Don't let "demo session" scare you off... these are strong recordings and the mastering job here absolutely explodes out of the speakers. On the second LP you get a live set recorded in Norway in 1979, and like the demo session the fidelity here is strong and you will actually listen to it more than once. I should also mention the packaging here, which is a heavy tip-on gatefold with full-color reproductions of the single covers on the inside along with a bunch of vintage press clippings. A fitting testament to a truly seminal band.