Lockjaw: Gang Violence 12" (new)

Antitodo Records


Unreleased (until now, at least) LP from this cult Portland hardcore band, available on vinyl for the first time from Antitodo Records. For fans of Poison Idea and the meanest 80s USHC.

Our take: After previously reissuing their Dead Friends EP, Spain's Antitodo commit to vinyl this previously-unreleased (well, on vinyl, at least) LP from Portland's Lockjaw. They really go all out on the release, particularly with the booklet. We're talking near-Radio Raheem levels of archival detail, including an extensive history / interview with the band, tons of photos and full size reproductions of a ton of fliers. Musically, while this isn't as jaw-droppingly great as Dead Friends, but it's some solid, nasty USHC hardcore that reminds me more of east coast bands like Mental Abuse or Vile than either the more melodic traditional west coast sound or the ultra-precise hardcore of their buddies in Poison Idea. Still, if you like this mean and nasty USHC sound you'll love the music. The only thing I have misgivings about here is the way that the archival detail of this release (particularly the booklet) kind of glorifies a band that seem, at the very least, way sketchy. As the liner notes point out, "Lockjaw represents the ugly underbelly of American hardcore that many fans of the genre like to sweep under the rug." Basically, as much as Lockjaw were clearly inspired by the raw and primitive sound of bands like Negative Approach and Agnostic Front, they were also clearly inspired by the crowd-baiting antics of people like Sid Vicious. They flirted with nazi imagery, their song "No More" has the chorus "no more fags," and the artwork the band used is frequently extremely violent. Artists like Raymond Pettibon played with a sense of menace, but for me there's a definite textural difference between Raymond Pettibon's cryptic, deeply psychological tableaux and the images in this booklet, which revel in senseless violence in a way that seems to glorify it for its own sake. Undoubtedly there are a ton of people out there who will love this aspect of the band's image, but for me it's just too much... it makes me uncomfortable. So the members of this band and their fans would probably call me a wimp. If you're the type of person who would probably call me a wimp, then pick this up because it's well-done and interesting, but buyer beware... this is going to be on the wrong side of the line for many people.
Tags: 80s gb325 hardcore portland recommended reissues ushc