Avengers – Avengers

January 01, 1970





For a band so
well-loved, official releases by this early San Francisco punk band (which still tours
with half of the original line-up including vocalist Penelope Houston on vocals
and Greg Ingraham on guitar, along with two younger bucks for the rhythm
section) are hard to come by. The long-out-of-print pink album is included here
as well as a whole second disc of outtakes, rehearsals and live tracks.  I had read once years ago in The Big Takeover (Jack Rabid’s
long-running magazine/indie bible) that when Penelope Houston said there were
no more recordings after that self-titled LP, Jello Biafra came forth and told
her that they had recorded a whole other 2nd album of music (not
sure why Houston didn’t remember that). Then, several years after that
conversation (I’m assuming) in 1999, Lookout Records released the terrific Died for Your Sins compilation. Recently
Penelope was searching through her closet and found 2-inch 24-track masters
that Sex Pistol Steve Jones recorded years ago. These, according the liner
notes, had alternate takes of nearly every song. Those tapes needed to be baked
first, but eventually out came some roaring versions of songs recorded long
ago. Wow.


Disc 1 is the
aforementioned pink album, which the band considers their first album and was
released posthumously in 1983, and the opening cut, “We Are the One” will seal
it for you (and if it doesn’t, well, what the hell is wrong with you?!). Seal
what? The band’s rapid-fire power and, to put it simply, outright talent. We all know what a great
vocalist Penelope Houston was (is) but Greg Ingraham’s guitar is absolutely
searing and the rhythm section of Danny Furious and Jimmy Wilsey slays as well,
acting as twin machines guns to compliment Ingraham’s battering ram of a guitar
and Houston’s
down-your-throat vocals. 


Disc one also
includes instant classics like “Car Crash,” “White Nigger,” “The American In
Me,” “Open Your Eyes” and plenty more (including their cover of the ‘stones
“Paint It Black”). 14 songs in all, while disc 2 (17 songs) is an amazing hodge
podge of rehearsal tracks, live material and alternate mixes beginning with one
of the greatest songs ever (and my personal all-time favorite) “Teenage Rebel”
with the following song, “Friends of Mine,” being a close second. Elsewhere you
get live recordings of “Summer of Hate,” “I Believe in Me,” “Something’s Wrong”
and a holy ton more. Seriously folks, and I hope I’m not overstating it, but
this band was awesome and if you
haven’t figured it out by now, this release is essential.


Add in some
classic photos and liners by Greil Marcus and you’ve got the perfect birthday
gift to ask for and if your birthday isn’t anywhere near, well, celebrate
someone else’s birthday. You deserve


DOWNLOAD:  “We Are the One,” “Car Crash,” “Teenage
Rebel,”  “White Nigger,” “Friends of



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