Angst – Self-Titled EP (Happy Squid) 1983. Here’s a rather obscure one for you. This is the first release by the band Angst. I bought this in 1986 when it was re-released on SST. It had originally been released on the classic Happy Squid label in 83 and yes, John Talley Jones is producing. Anyway, in 1986, I would generally buy anything on the SST label and I bought some real shite; Tom Trocolli’s Dog, October Faction etc. etc. It’s hard for me now to understand the idea of being loyal to a label but back then there were certain labels that spelled quality. A lot of them are still around in one form or another but the consistency of the releases dropped off. Either that or I changed. Who knows?
Anyway, this release by Angst was on SST at a time when I would buy anything on the label. This was in large part due to the holy trinity of bands on SST that sort of kick started indie nation in my opinion; Husker Du, Meat Puppets and the Minutemen. Once you bought everything by these folks waddyado? You start looking further down the roster. Saccharine Trust? Check. Angst? Well, this does have a pretty HARDCORE fucking album cover. It’s coming home with me.
When I put it on I realized the cover was the most hardcore thing about this record. It was actually pretty laid back. I was cool with that. I had Up On the Sun, y’know? Lyrically, it was dealing with hardcore punk issues like Nancy for instance which was a new way to make fun of Emperor Reagan. Pig was about cops and how they suck. Die Fighting was anti-war. You get the picture. My favourite song on the LP was Neil Armstrong which started creeping its way into comp tapes sometime in 86-87.
Over the years Angst released a ton of albums on SST. Their main problem in my opinion was a lack of identity. They just didn’t seem to leave that much of an imprint mentally, either with their music or with their image. My memory of them was that they were three dudes in army parkas and jeans, with scraggly hair but in putting together this post I couldn’t find a picture to either support or deny that memory. Even geographically they were a bit hard to pin down, identity wise. Apparently they were a Bay Area band? However, since they were on SST, I always thought of them as an LA band. Ironically enough, they started off in Boulder, Colorado.
Regardless, they certainly weren’t out of place on the Urinals label with this release. It sounds like 100 Flowers on vicodin.
We Only Rot