Crucial Records #12 : Jerry’s Kids – Is This My World ?

By Tieuma

Honestly, I wanted to review this record a long time ago, but as you might have noticed, I’m quite unable to follow a schedule so I left the idea on a corner of my head. Nonetheless, with the crazy year we had, I think it’s time to write it down finally.

Because it’s a question I asked myself a few times, those days, and if hardcore doesn’t bring much answers, it comforts me to see there’s other people wondering what they are doing here.

As it’s obviously a classic record, I won’t try to convince you on how influencial it is, but just show some love and give my thoughts on a landmark of our musical scene.

In my imagination and beliefs, the early Boston Hardcore scene is filled with violence and crazy stories. I don’t know if it’s only tales, but the youth of those peeps looked totally fucked up. So for me, it’s funny to associate NYHC to a tough guy attitude when some miles away there’s a crazy bunch of psychopaths roaming freely in the street.

Maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, but Boston during the 80’s didn’t seem very funny from were I stand. Still, this wild atmosphere is the home of my favorite BHC records. Is it linked to their environement ? I’d say yes, because it only give shape to a myth that I like to hang to.

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Anyway, by that time, everything had to be done, everything was worth trying. We saw it on a previous review, with another Boston band, THE PROLETARIAT, it was kind of a sandbox where they had to start from zero so they were free to set the standards themselves. Some standards were pretty “evolved” and some other were just brutally primitive.

Today, we’re going right into this primitivity. Which strike the fuck out of your face at the first chord of the record. I can’t explain the dissonant tunes in the guitar sound by that time, but it does sounds aggressive, and I think it’s one of the main ingredients of this records, this crazy sound, like the engineer couldn’t figure how to mix this stuff.

But on the other hand, despite the raw sound, it’s really well played for people who just wanted to play loud and fast. Compared to SSD which choose a more braindead type of sound, for example, JERRY’S KIDS had a more “professional” approach.

By that I just want to highlight the difference there is between the two bands, and also what make this record unique, it’s this more defined sound yet chaotic, how there’s a balance between something raw and super aggressive while it’s not just noise for noise. I think American Hardcore owes a lot to this band, for shaping an example of how punk music should be mixed. And even though I don’t want to create any conflicts, New York can be greatful someone showed them the way.

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Of course, it’s well played for punk music, and you still got to consider it for what it is, a relentless flow of rage. Those guys just wanted to deliver what was on their mind. And if it might the point of every band, you got to admit they did with a lot of style. Even though they drew a lot of inspiration from the DC posse, they took it a step further, and in it’s time I think it was a crazy record, with a “harder” approach than the standards of the time and without mixing it with metal, like they did on their next record we won’t talk about because… well… you know.

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The lyrics and the delivery are pretty classic, the writing style isn’t that crazy and the voice just deliver as much as it can, but it only add to the general brainless attitude and despite the classic approach, some of them tunes are anthems, Vietnam Syndrome and Is This My World ? being my favorite one, and I’d like to meet someone who likes punk who don’t singalong to those track. I also think a lot of us can stick to the theme of this record, and somehow we’re always the outcast of someone else.

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Maybe I got a biased vision, but I can hardly find filler tunes, or boring songs. Whenever I come back to this record, it’s great all the way, and I enjoy it equally each time. I think it’s an important record to listen to wether you like 80’s hardcore punk or not, because muscially it goes way more far than that, and even though it was written in a time when everything was meant to be created and when standard weren’t set yet, it didn’t grew old or became sketchy, and sorry Mr.Radigan, but you should be thankful JERRY’S KIDS taught you their magic.

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It feels so cold on the street
There’s no more feeling, it’s all concrete
Is this the world I must live?
I’m forced to forget how to give

IS THIS MY WORLD ?

 

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