Album Review: Henry Rollins Curates A “Best Of” Collection Of The Californian Hardcore Scene 1978-1983

The Breakdown

Henry Rollin's curated best of the Californian Hardcore Scene 1978 to 1983. 25 tracks capturing the genre
Futurismo Records

Futurismo Records asked ex-Black Flag singer, Henry Rollins to select his favourite tracks from the Californian hardcore scene for the 5 year period between 1978 and 1983, for many the halcyon days of the genre. Spread over 4 sides of limited edition coloured vinyl, the 25 tracks Rollins has chosen are all stone cold classics of the scene, but there is one glaring omission in that it contains no Black Flag tracks. How any compilation worth it’s salt can leave out “Six Pack” or “Rise Above” is up for debate, but I guess Rollins didn’t feel like marking his own homework, so I’ll let it slide. And whilst I’m having a whinge, I don’t get the point of including more than one track by each band.

The big hitters are all here; Circle Jerks, Suicidal Tendencies, Adolescents, Flipper, Germs, Dead Kennedys and Social Distortion, with some lesser known tracks by the likes of Channel 3, Shattered Faith and Eddie & The Subtitles. It’s also great to see bands like Wasted Youth, Negative Trend and The Weirdos have tracks selected.

Conspicuous by their absence are LA’s Fear, who are widely recognised as one of the bands instrumental in shaping the California hardcore sound

The full title of the collection is Suburban Annihilation – The Californian Hardcore Explosion From The City To The Beach, so I guess they’ve pretty much got that covered, although the Agent Orange track Bloodstains isn’t one of their surf punk tracks.

25 tracks from 21 bands. Henry, I’m sure you could have found another 4 tracks from different bands, but truth be told, it is a pretty decent representation of the genre.

Suburban Annihilation – The Californian Hardcore Explosion From The City To The Beach: 1978-83 is out now on Futurismo Records.

Track Listing

Adolescents – I Hate Children

Middle Class – Out Of Voyage

Agent Orange – Bloodstains

Dead Kennedys – Chemical Warfare

Simpletones – I Like Drugs

Suicidal Tendencies – Fascist Pig

T.S.O.L. – Abolish Government / Silent Majority

Circle Jerks – Beverly Hills

Wasted Youth – Fuck Authority

The Gun Club – She’s Like Heroin To Me

Redd Kross – Burn Out

China White – Live In Your Eyes

Circle Jerks – Live Fast Die Young

Negative Trend – How Ya Feeling?

Eddie And The Subtitles – American Society

Channel 3 – Manzanar

Flipper – Ha Ha Ha

Rikk Agnew – O.C. Life

Social Distortion – Playpen

Dead Kennedys – California Über Alles

Shattered Faith – I Love America

The Weirdos – Helium Bar

Middle Class – Insurgence

Germs – Communist Eyes

Adolescents – Kids Of The Black Hole

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