Hüsker Dü - Land Speed Record [12-inch] (Cover Artwork)

Hüsker Dü

Land Speed Record [12-inch] (1982)

New Alliance

Hüsker Dü's first album is a live set of pure, raw, and spastic punk with none of the rough edges cut out and no time to waste between songs. This sounds like a typical early '80s hardcore show. The sound quality is bootleg quality and the songs all run together. In fact, the CD version is broken up into two tracks, one for each side of the LP.

Hüsker Dü became popular later on for their slower, more melodic material. I'm not much of a fan of that era and I definitely prefer their hardcore punk stuff. However, there were a million American hardcore bands in 1981 that not only sounded exactly the same, but often sounded better.

Essentially, this is a slightly above-average hardcore punk album with a few songs that stand out. The lyrics to "Gilligan's Island" are pretty funny, "Do the Bee" has a cool guitar riff, and "Big Sky" and "Ultracore" are both really intense. "Data Control" slows it down for a great heavy tune which descends into noise before picking back up to end the album.

This would be a great band to see live at the time. These songs are ideal for beer swilling and slam dancing. The whole band is tight, the guitar solos are great, the vocals are on par with other great hardcore bands like the Dicks, and the raw energy of a live punk show is brilliantly captured. I love hardcore punk and this is without a doubt a good listen, but it's no masterpiece.