Zero Boys - History Of LP
Includes mp3 download of album.
Secretly Canadian Records
When punk rock began to evolve into hardcore at the dawn of the '80s, it started at the West and East coasts and slowly creepy-crawled into the Midwest and the Southwest, and Indianapolis' Zero Boys were early adopters of the fast and loud ethic, debuting in 1980 with a five-song 7" EP of entertaining but standard-issue punk, Livin' in the '80s, before morphing into the furiously tight, light-speed unit that cut their debut album, Vicious Circle, in 1982. Zero Boys began recording material for a second album that went unfinished when the band split up in 1983, and while a limited-run cassette of the leftover tracks was released locally, only a hundred copies ever existed and only the most rabid fans ever heard it. More than a quarter century later, fourteen songs that would have been on the second Zero Boys LP have finally surfaced on CD with this release from Secretly Canadian. Just as Vicious Circle found the band moving beyond the scrappy Dead Boys-inspired sound of their first EP, History of the Zero Boys makes it clear this band was looking beyond the dead end that hardcore would prove to be for many imaginative bands; the metal influences on "Inergy" and "Human Body" are clear (and recorded well before Black Flag 'fessed up to their Black Sabbath jones on My War), there are moments of arty introspection that punctuate "Splish Splash" and "Black Network News," there's something resembling a pop melody in "Amerika," and they find some room for both goofball humor ("Dingy Bars Suck") and thoughtful contemplation of where life in punk rock is taking them ("Positive Chance"). History Of lacks the fiercely unified sound and approach of Vicious Circle, but there's no arguing that this documents a band that was still capable of raining down fire in the studio; David "Tufty" Clough and Mark Cutsinger were one of the very best rhythm sections in hardcore, Terry "Hollywood" Howe's guitar work is frantic throughout, and Paul Z. Mayhem could shout with the best of them. History Of isn't the blazing follow-up Vicious Circle deserved, but these scraps show that Zero Boys were more than capable of making another album as powerful if they'd stayed together a bit longer.