If you are a person who cares about punk/hardcore music or other such noisy racket -- or a person who has seen the cult classic film Repo Man (that’s this 1984 work of genius, not this 2010 abomination), then Circle Jerks will not be an unfamiliar name to you. The band is part of a purebred punk rock lineage, founded by Black Flag’s original singer Keith Morris, and Greg Hetson, who would go on to play guitar in Bad Religion (continuing the tradition, Morris has a new band called OFF!, featuring members of Redd Kross, Rocket from the Crypt/Hot Snakes, and Burning Brides).
Despite sporting perhaps the best cover art of any album ever in the history of records, the general consensus on Wonderful -- the band’s fourth studio album, recorded with their second rhythm section for their fourth record label -- seems to be that it’s better left in the sleeve. Perhaps if you’re just checking out Circle Jerks for the first time, you should opt for their debut Group Sex, or Golden Shower of Hits, this album’s predecessor (which, until recently, had a record store on Greenwood named after it). That said, opinion at KCMU seems to have been split, and it’s probably worth at least a spin or two.
“Punk rock is dead. This is pretty damn good.”
“Gee Faith, I dunno, punk rock may or may not be dead, but is this what’s supposed to replace it? Remember when the music sounded sincere?”
“Dearest Mark -- it was a joke (I am sorry but I didn’t mean to stamp on anyone’s integrity or lack thereof). By the way, I think this a fine record although not a replacement as I so mistakenly implied. My apologies.”
“Mebbe it’s just too metallic fo’ mah tastes, but, I find it to be a right icky record.”
“‘American Heavy Metal Weekend’ -- a great sarcastic song + one of the best the CJ’s have ever done.”