Sunday, June 19, 2005

Middle Class

I don't know if this is coincidence, or pure dumb luck, or what have you. I had just finished drafting a post on LA's Middle Class when I stopped over to Agony Shorthand only to find out that Jay had hammered out an excellent writeup on the band's A Blueprint For Joy CD just a couple of days ago. Needless to say, his commentary puts mine to shame. My first thought was to ditch this, but I decided fuck it. Just do yourself a favor and read it - it's spot on. When done, stop back and take a listen. If your too lazy to go a'clicking here's the scoop:

In 1978 Middle Class appeared out of Fullerton, CA and released their legendary Out Of Vogue EP. Many a scholar has hailed this as the first true example of hardcore, and for good reason. Four short, hopped up punk blasts with rapid fire vocals that sounds revolutionary for the time. A couple of additional tracks in similar vein appeared a year later on the Tooth & Nail compilation. 1980 saw the release of the Scavenged Luxury EP. Compared to Out of Vogue the material on Scavenged Luxury is tame: Slower tempos, darting bass lines, and some jagged guitar. The early Gang of Four/Joy Division influence is undeniable. This would carry over to their only full length, 1982's Homeland which featured a darker, more subdued set of songs. Not bad by any stretch, but missing the gut fire that propelled the earlier material. Some samples:

from 1978's Out of Vogue:
Middle Class - Out of Vogue.mp3
Middle Class - Situations.mp3

from 1980's Scavenged Luxury:
Middle Class - Home Is Where.mp3
Middle Class - A Blueprint For Joy.mp3

from 1982's Homeland LP
Middle Class - Restless Young Men.mp3

>> I believe the A Blueprint For Joy CD is now out of print. Find it if you can - both EP's the Tooth and Nail cuts, and a crapload of solid live tracks
>> pics scavenged from the Punk Rock In SoCal discography at CollectorScum