Zero Boys Vicious Circle/History Of

Zero BoysVicious Circle/History Of
Out of all the U.S. hardcore punk scenes to emerge during the Reagan era, few saw Indianapolis as a force, but the Zero Boys single-handedly put the state of Indiana on the map. Unsung heroes of punk's heyday, the band flourished during their brief four-year period, playing alongside every vital band of the time but never earning the reverence of peers like the Dead Kennedys or Minor Threat. Bloomington's Secretly Canadian, however, has seen to it that their home state heroes get their due, with reissues of the band's only released record of the era, complete with bonus material. Their 1982 full-length, Vicious Circle, made a startling first impression upon its arrival, mixing the vitality of whiplash hardcore with rock'n'roll's appetite for hooks, riffing and swagger, and some juvenile sneering with the socially conscious chip on its shoulder. As good as any album of its time, Vicious Circle blasts home the formula of melody and fury that made the movement so vital for many yet hasn't lost any of its bite 27 years later. More coveted though is the corresponding History Of, the thought-to-be-lost second album that had a brief existence via cassette release. For its first time on CD, it gathers both that recording as well as the band's very first work, 1980's Livin' in the '80s EP. Though it's a lot more uneven than the full-length, what History achieves best is documenting the band's evolution in sound, which towards its end, heard here on the apt "New Generation," was leaning more towards a grittier, unbridled intensity than Vicious Circle's polished perfection. Nevertheless, having "Livin' in the '80s" in its grungy original form makes this an essential artefact of American punk history. (Secretly Canadian)