The Last L.A. Explosion

Bomp scores again with the re-release of this classic piece of garage/pop/punk history. Originally recorded in 1979, L.A. Explosion seamlessly melds ’60s surf, garage, psyche and pop with ’70s punk. Besides making for an engaging listen, the Last’s influence resonates much farther. If you read the extensive liner notes by founder, front-man Joe Nolte, he wistfully mentions the "pop punk dichotomy” that would "inspire bands like the Descendents (according to them, anyway) which would in turn inspire — ah well, we know how all that went down, don’t we?” The one song on here that’s almost a template for the speedy punk the Descendents grabbed onto is "I Don’t Wanna Be In Love.” Besides that, the average pop punk fan of today may not find a lot in this to get excited about. They cover a lot of territory with songs that bounce from the Beatles pop of "This Kind Of Feeling” to the Clash/Stiff Little Fingers style of "Walk Like Me” to the Beach Boys melodies of "Every Summer Day.” Their sound was unique for crossing these musical lines and it afforded them the chance to appeal to the L.A. punk scene of the time as well as the skinny tie new wave set, like a West Coast version of the Modern Lovers. The Doors-y cover of Gene Vincent’s "Be Bop A Lula” is just plain cool. In addition to the re-mastered version of the original 15 track LP, this contains bonus live and single tracks. The liner notes and recording journal are also worth reading. (Bomp)