The Avengers (or is it just Avengers? some bands are so punk rock they play it fast and loose with their definite articles, so it’s hard to find consensus on that) shone brightly and briefly in the late ’70s, breaking up before they could release a full length album, but creating enough of an impression to result in the release of three different compilations of their material and two live albums, and even to pave the way for a reunion of sorts in the past decade. Their short existence managed to include sharing bills with the Sex Pistols (for the Pistols’ final show, at Winterland), as well as fellow upstart California bands such as X, the Dead Kennedys, and the Go-Gos.
There was also a local angle to this band, as the KCMU DJs were quick to point out. Though they were formed in San Francisco, singer Penelope Houston was raised in Seattle (or was it Burien? close enough) and may or may not have gone to college in Bellingham. She’s since settled in San Francisco, and has released several decided less punk-rock albums under her own name.
In 1983, when this first posthumous collection of Avengers tunes made its way to the station, most of the staff already seemed well aware of the greatness on offer.
“One of the first ‘New Wave’ / ‘Punk’ bands in San Francisco... see liner notes on back cover.”
“’83 release of ’77-’79 recordings.”
“NO. 27.” [I have no idea what this means.]
“Excellent cover of ‘Paint It Black.’”
“Yow! Crummy recording but great band.”
“Who cares about recording quality?”
“‘The Amerikan in Me’ is wonderful... still.”
“In my opinion, this shouldn’t be in ‘H’ whether or not they were one of the first. Old, so so stuff. P.S. I’m ready to be crucified.”
“I’ll pound in the first nail... this is great stuff.”
“‘We are the 1′ is wow!”
“Best cover ever of ‘Paint It Black.’” [Which is actually saying a lot.]
“Everyone should have a copy of this!”
“Remember: Penelope is from Burien + is on H. Devoto [Buzzcocks, Magazine] ‘s newest record. She’s also not such a bad person in fact... too cool! I really like this... it has teeth, but isn’t lobotomized hardcore like the current ‘punk.’”