I was never a big fan of this seminal hardcore-punk outfit, but I do appreciate where they came from and what they did for the early hardcore scene – their respected place in music history is certainly deserved. That being the case, it’s understandable that I never knew that they covered The Soft Boys’s classic “I Wanna Destroy You” from one of the best records of the ’80s, Underwater Moonlight.
Formed in 1979 by Black Flag vocalist Keith Morris and Redd Kross guitarist Greg Hetson, the Circle Jerks combined the rebelliousness of the Sex Pistols and Ramones with the aggressive athletic elements of the surfer/skateboarder crowd from Hermosa Beach. This coastal city just south of Los Angeles ignited the initial explosion of hardcore bands. Including bassist Roger Rogerson and drummer Lucky Lehrer, the band recorded their debut album, Group Sex, in 1980 on Frontier Records. Containing 14 tracks, the songs ranged in length from 1:35 to 27 seconds, taking the hyper blast of punk to the next extreme. With the release of the album, an appearance in the documentary film about L.A. punk The Decline of Western Civilization, and their incendiary live performances, the group’s stature was assured in the budding hardcore community…[read more]