While the 1980s saw a burgeoning New York hardcore scene, something else was just starting to come to fruition, something that would forever change the landscape of crust punk and thrash as we in the states knew it. That something is a band by the name of Nausea. Having an impact like they did, and still do, is not an easy thing to accomplish, but Nausea stood for something. Completely anti-racist, ant-sexist, and anarchist to the very core, they stood out among that New York scene.
The Punk Terrorist Anthology, Vol 2: 1986-1988 is a collection of demos, never released versions of such classics as "Smash Racism," and some live tracks sprinkled throughout its 30 songs, spanning almost 75 power packed minutes.
If you've heard Nausea before, you know just what to expect here: Your face being rocked clean off your skull. Two vocalists, one male and one female, and a combination of guitar, bass, and drums that will take no prisoners. Every musician in this band is immensely talented, and cannot be relegated to somebody playing stripped down punk rock; it's so much more than that. Elements of NYHC, thrash, and straight up metal all show their face at one point or another, and the styles seamlessly integrate into one unrelenting cacophonous attack. Nausea isn't all hell, fire, and brimstone however; take a listen to "Sacrifice," and see just how they're able to blend their harsh punk attack with some more mellow, almost ska-like parts, almost. You're not going to find a saxophonist anywhere near this album, but the band does have an understanding of grooves just as they have an understanding of putting their amps to eleven. Both vocalists sing and shout with such fire and conviction that their political and social rhetoric would hit even harder than normally. To this day, few, if any, bands have been able to match the unwavering conviction and awareness that Nausea have presented with every word they wrote;
Entertain the masses, with music video shit / It's used to serve purposes, not 'playing all the hits' / One, it makes you passive and desensitized / Two, it teaches to consume and it tells you what to buy / Fills your head with concepts, of how to dress and how to act / Does the video sell the music, or does the music sell the crap?If more bands had the awareness and ability to put that to music that Nausea did, the musical landscape would look far better than it currently does. Lyrics aren't the only thing the band does well, however, as I mentioned earlier, their dual vocal attack works to perfection, as both are able to spit such venom with their words that nobody would ever question a thing. And it's those words that come through a sea of heavy distortion and guitar squalls. "Divide & Conquer" is an instrumental track that will no doubt show just what this band is capable of, with its tight, jarring rhythms and great, but not extravagant guitar solos, all the while the drummer holds down everything, never missing a beat. As if some of the old favorites weren't enough reason to check this album out, the demos and live tracks are spectacular as well. Listening to the live version of "World of Tomorrow" gives you great perspective as to how great and how intense they sounded live, and who can complain with covers of Subhumans and Omega Tribe.
As soon as you're done reading this, pick this album up, and Anthology, Volume 1 while you're at it. While that collection was a bit better than this one, the sheer amount of tracks, be they studio, live, or demos, should be enough to entice die-hard fans and newcomers alike. Not to be missed.