Government Issue - The Punk Remains the Same (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Government Issue

The Punk Remains the Same (2009)


Just looking at Government Issue's discography is an overwhelming task. Multiple full-lengths, EPs, collections and compilation appearances are scattered throughout the last 28 years, and while GI fans shouldn't break the bank to acquire it, their "latest" is a somewhat affable batch of quick live cuts.

The Punk Remains the Same compiles five previously unreleased -- as far as it seems -- live versions of songs I believe you can otherwise find amongst the band's studio recordings. The band's signature, sardonic opener "Notch to My Crotch" and closer "Sheer Terror" are both taken from a 1983 set at Space II Video Arcade in D.C. The other three come from a 1982 show at the Wilson Center. As such, the flow is a little choppy ("Sheer Terror" doesn't even kinda just cuts off and the disc's suddenly over), but the recordings are basically all the same quality, which is roughly medium-high. However, there's no banter -- you get simple song introductions for two tracks and an out-of-context, cut-off sentence at the beginning of "Snubbing." The crowd isn't too audible, either.

While "Sheer Terror" is coated with a sloppy, chugging restraint, you know what you're getting otherwise here: raw, early `80s hardcore punk á la the band's equally legendary peers: Teen Idles, Red C, etc. al.

Though the Complete History compilations ideally provide all the Government Issue lessons one would need, fans might get some artifactual interest out of this. Otherwise, pass.