The 222s Montreal Punk 78-81

One of the first punks bands to emerge from Montreal in a decidedly uninviting musical climate, the 222s were an aggressive mixture of New York Dolls glam and Stooges riffing. While the band’s name was somewhat tarnished towards the end of their career when they were forced by a few local gangsters-cum-record producers to record an awful teen pop single at gunpoint, the tracks represented on this 14-song collection demonstrate an exciting and at the time, totally new musical approach. Formed in the incredibly hostile-to-punk ’70s Montreal music scene, the band managed to produce and record some excellent, catchy and occasionally funny singles, from the sexually charged humour of "Female” to the much darker, dynamic "Academic Drop.” The latter is easily one of the strongest songs here, with a explosive finale not unlike the Clash’s first substantial sonic departure, "Complete Control.” Rounded out by a few rough-sounding live numbers that sound an awful lot like Teenage Head, the band’s best is found in the demos from the collection’s first half. This is a gritty snapshot of an exciting moment in Montreal’s musical development. (Sonik's Chicken Shrimp)