DMZ DMZ

Before the Vines, Hives, and Jet (in short before competent professionalism) there was Boston’s DMZ; the skuzziest punk band to come out of 1978. Unfortunately, DMZ were too late (and not nearly catchy enough) for punk by about three years and with hardcore and no-wave quickly on the way DMZ was shuffled over in the history of punk. In listening to DMZ’s one and only full-length record, it’s easy to understand why the band has never merited more than a footnote in the history of punk rock. It isn’t that DMZ is a poor record, it’s just unremarkable. The guitar licks and thuddy dynamics on songs like "Mighty Idy,” "Don’t Jump Me Mother,” and "Baby Boom” were already considered standard issue thanks to the Ramones and the Sex Pistols (not to mention Blondie) by 1978, while Iggy Pop had already scorched his throat on similar melodies and lyrics nearly a decade prior to DMZ’s release. The citation of celebrity kudos from the likes of Pussy Galore (whom the press release for DMZ readily notes named a song after the band’s lead singer and covered a song found on an equally unavailable EP) simply proves that someone somewhere did at one time buy this record. The fact is that many bands have sold even a few copies of their albums and DMZ is no different. For its time, DMZ was the overlooked, average group that showed up a day late and a dollar short to the birth of punk and didn’t bring enough to the table to register on even a minor scale. Now that the major labels devalued the currency of punk and indie credibility to roughly that of the Reich Mark, Warner and SepiaTone have reissued DMZ’s "opus” for present day consumption and so modern day tastemakers can fawn over and praise its overlooked "genius.” In short DMZ has been reissued for the same reason the Sex Pistols reformed: "For your money.” (Warner)