Adolescents : Kids of The Black Hole
On their debut, releasedx in April of 1981, Adolescents reveal the nihilism of the American suburbs during the Reagan era. Morning in America? More like a nightmare for kids who need something to believe. The highlights are "Kids of The Black Hole", which describes a party house for punk rockers:"House of the filthy, house not a home House of destruction where the lurkers roamed House that belonged to all the homeless kids Kids of the Black Hole" , "Amoeba" and "Wrecking Crew". The band couldn't keep its line-up together long enough to tour the album.
The Cramps : Goo Goo Muck
Without Alex Chilton producing or the charismatic Bryan Gregory on guitar, The Cramps sound tired on their sophomore album Psychedelic Jungle. The highlight is "Goo Goo Muck", a cover of an obscure 1962 single by Ronnie Cook and the Gaylads. During the recording The Cramps and IRS chief Miles Copeland began a legal battle that prevented The Cramps from releasing another album until 1983's Smell of Female.
Stiff Little Fingers : Just Fade Away
Also in April 1981, Belfast's Stiff Little Fingers released Go For It, the band's third album and front man Jake Burns' favorite. It's a bit more adventurous musically than the others ( the brass section on "Silver Living") and lyrically ( domestic violence on "Hits And Misses"). Perhaps more than any other band, SLF provided the blueprint for the sound of the American punk-rock bands of the 90's.
The Flesh Eaters : Divine Horseman
Chris D. recruited LA indie heavyweights John Doe and DJ Bonebrake ( from X) , Dave Alvin and Bill Bateman ( from The Blasters) and Steve Berlin for this descent into madness. Village Voice critic Richard Meltzer wrote Chris D. " has lowered the boom...putting the TNT to the whole fragile whatsis of musically accompanied language per se ...BLABBERMOUTH LOCKJAW OF THE SOUL, which you gotta admit is kinda neat". Also kinda neat: following author Chris Desjardins on GoodReads. He's into the classic mid century pulp novels.
Van Halen : Unchained
On April 29 1981, Van Halen releases Fair Warning, a double platinum album. At this point listening to a Van Halen song means biding your time through misogynistic lyrics (She looks so fuckin' good/ So sexy and so frail/ Something got the bite on me /I'm goin' straight to hell) and David Lee Roth shrieks just to hear Eddie Van Halen rip through a solo.