Minor Threat

Picture of Minor Threat

Minor Threat

Minor Threat - Minor Threat ©1981 Dischord
1. Filler
2. I Don't Wanna Hear It
3. Seeing Red
4. Straight Edge
5. Small Man, Big Mouth
6. Screaming At A Wall
7. Bottled Violence
8. Minor Threat
9. In My Eyes
10. Out Of Step
11. Guilty Of Being White
12. Steppin' Stone

Not many bands can really have the tag "Legendary" applied to them, but Minor Threat deserves it to the highest degree and honor. Flashback to 1981. How many bands truly played at this velocity and honest overwhelming aggression? Perhaps Black Flag on the west coast, but on the east side, Minor Threat to me was possibly the most ahead of its time band around. The first two tracks, "Filler" and "I Don't Want to Hear It" (and if you've only heard the Slayer versions, you need to do some homework, young grasshopper), are complete powerballs of destruction, unlike anything you may have heard before. Though youthful and not necessarily overly skilled at their instruments yet, the members of Minor Threat made up for any deficiencies with the sonic sledgehammer they created. Moreover, these songs stand the test of time like no other. Obviously the effects of Ian MacKaye's "Straight Edge" are still with us. Though he personally may not want to endorse the whole sXe movement, Minor Threat is still going to be associated with it forever. How many other bands have accidentally kickstarted an entire subculture? MacKaye's tirades and angry voice is both raw and timeless. "Out of Step" is another great showcase for the anger that seemingly propelled him to no end. Needless to say this early effort has probably been one of the hugest influences in punk and hardcore in history.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 05/1999

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Complete Discography

Minor Threat - Complete Discography ©1989 Dischord
1. Filler
2. I Don't Wanna Hear It
3. Seeing Red
4. Straight Edge
5. Small Man, Big Mouth
6. Screaming At A Wall
7. Bottled Violence
8. Minor Threat
9. Stand Up
10. 12XU
11. In My Eyes
12. Out Of Step (with The World)
13. Guilty Of Being White
14. Steppin' Stone
15. Betray
16. It Follows
17. Think Again
18. Look Back And Laugh
19. Sob Story
20. No Reason
21. Little Friend
22. Out Of Step
23. Cashing In
24. Stumped
25. Good Guys (don't Wear White)
26. Salad Days

If you don't already own this disc, then I have serious worries about you. Minor Threat existed from 1980 to 1983 and released some of the most influential music ever; moreover, Dischord has been kind enough to help out music fans out there by compiling every single song the band recorded onto one disc so you don't have to search high and low to find all their releases. Best yet, Dischord has a policy of keeping their CD prices low so you can probably get this disc for ten or eleven dollars. In other words, you have no excuse for not owning this. Well, aside from bad taste in music, but in that case we really can't help you, now can we?

The most amazing thing about Minor Threat is simply their age at the time of of the band's existence. Though I don't know their precise ages, these four (well, five, including Steve Hangsen's stint during the Out of Step era) kids were barely into adulthood when they recorded most of this music. Considering the disc goes in chronological order of release, you can hear a lot of growing up going on during the album, particularly in song structure and simply dynamics. The tracks that compose their first self titled release (tracks one through eight) are essentially just a ramrod of pure aggression and anger. But by the time you reach the Out of Step sessions (tracks fifteen through twenty-three), you hear a lot of musical development. Though hardly on par with, say, King Crimson, the latter half of the disc shows the band using guitar interplay, varying song arrangements and of course a more varied vocal approach. (In other words, Ian MacKaye does something besides scream.) To a certain degree some of the band's power is exchanged for a bit of musical maturity. "Filler" and "I Don't Want to Hear It" still pack a more forceful blow to the cranium than much of the Out of Step album. Nevertheless, the three songs that made up the band's final release, Salad Days, are excellent. "Salad Days" is rather ambitious for Minor Threat, including some acoustic guitar (but played rather aggressively) and is a rather high note for the band to go out on.

The band's influence is simply legendary on the punk and hardcore world and even metal has not escaped the band's touch. Ian MacKaye of course has gone on to greater musical heights in Fugazi, while Brian Baker bounced from band to band until landing in Bad Religion in the mid 90s. Complete Discography is a phenomenal document of an early era of extreme music and truly is one of the requirements of any good punk collection.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 03/2000

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