ARTIST: The Circle Jerks
TITLE: Group Sex
YEAR RELEASED: 1980
CHART ACTION: None
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Lots of you saw the Decline of the Western Civilization
LINEUP: Keith Morris, Greg Hetson, Roger Rogerson, Lucky Lehrer
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Short (14 songs in 15 minutes) burst of LA punk from a band formed from castoffs of Black Flag and Redd Kross.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The Decline of the Western Civilization, the Penelope Spheeris look at the punk scene in LA in 1979 and 1980 was the coming out party of the Circle Jerks to a somewhat wider audience than the insular scene they came from.
This burst of short songs is one of the better documents of a piece of that LA scene. Keith Morris was in Black Flag at their beginning and guitarist Greg Hetson was in the original lineup of Redd Kross. They brought a few songs from their old bands and wrote some other now-punk classics like “Beverly Hills”, “Deny Everything”, and “Live Fast Die Young”.
The songs don’t linger, so there’s no energy drop off. Unlike other punk bands, they didn’t pad out their album to make it more than they were. That’s refreshing – you get in, and in 15 minutes, you’re out.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Black Flag didn’t like Morris changing some of the lyrics (and not crediting Greg Ginn), so they wrote a track that blasted him: “You Bet We’ve Got Something Personal Against You”
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No
GRADE A-: This still brings the early LA punk scene to life.