The Lewd: American Wino 12"

Puke N Vomit Records


Black leather, spikes and chains, The Lewd is, as Dirk Dirksen put it, "One of them kind of acts." Their 1982 album, "American Wino," is violent, ugly, perverse and frightening. The songs betray a bleak and ominous vision of American life seen through the eyes of youth without hope of a future. This is not the San Francisco sound of the '60s, but rather the belligerent sounds of these Seattle transplants' fight for survival on the gritty streets where the dejection of last generation's Utopian failures meets the stark realities of economic deprivation. This is fast, jarring and furious punk rock at its finest. Long languishing in obscurity due to its rarity, the reissue of this seminal LP makes it a compulsory component of any punk rock record collection. Bonus goodies include a collage poster, five postcards, original insert plus redone insert, mailorder-only song book repro and a reproduction promo ad poster.

Our take: Man, talk about packaging overload: by my count this reissue of the Lewd's classic American Wino LP comes with TEN inserts... wow! Opening this thing up is almost overwhelming, what with the huge full-color poster, lyric booklet, postcards, and other ephemera included here. It sort of reminds me of opening up a copy of Live at Leeds with all of the inserts... it's fun to spin the record while pouring over this stuff and examining it closely. Sure, one could argue that it's completely unnecessary, but it's also really fun and exciting, particularly if you're a nerd about old punk like I am. So, now that we've established that you definitely get value for your money in terms of packaging, let me point out that American Wino is, in my humble opinion, one of the more underrated early US punk LPs out there. I think I first became aware of the Lewd when I heard Turbonegro's cover of "Mobile Home," and when I finally tracked down American Wino I was immediately in love. The Lewd are one of those rare bands that seem to fall in the cracks between punk and hardcore, combining the speed and aggression of hardcore with the songwriting sensibility of original punk bands... in that respect, they're less of a hardcore band and have more in common with really fast punk bands like the Angry Samoans, the Middle Class, or Negative Trend. In addition to being absolutely packed to the gills with great songs, American Wino is also recommended by that perfect early 80s hardcore production... if your idea of the perfect production lies somewhere on the spectrum between Out of Step and How Could Hell Be Any Worse? is an LP that you should own. I have no idea, really, why the Lewd have always flown under the radar, but like I said... if you don't own this LP you need this, and the reissue is fantastic.
Tags: 80s hardcore recommended reissues ushc