Spermbirds Something to Prove / Nothing is Easy

Drawing obvious influence from Angry Samoans, these wonderfully-named Germans were at the forefront of the European love affair with American hardcore in the 1980s. Adding more melody than their U.S. contemporaries, the band, at times, sound like a catchier version of Black Flag, with songs such as "Get On the Stage” including Cult-like guitar hooks that offer a significant departure from the accepted fast and dirty guitar work of the day. While "My God Rides a Skateboard” features a god awful, poorly-executed pseudo-funk verse, most of the tracks here stick to straight-ahead hardcore, deviating only occasionally, and usually just for humour’s sake, like the mock army roll-call of "Die Sgt. Landry.” One of the drawbacks to this release is the rampant misogyny of songs such as "Playboy Subscriber” and "Bed Tool,” which the band have since seen fit to apologise for. Six additional tracks, culled from live performances and seven-inches, round out the release, making it a worthwhile purchase — provided you can get past the uncomfortable sexism. (Boss Tuneage)