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Agitated 

Go Blue, Go Die (Smog Veil)

As Smog Veil founder Frank Mauceri points out in the liner notes to this, his latest document of nascent Cleveland punk, the Agitated's one-year career was as short, chaotic, and heedless as their 60-second blasts of gutter thrash.

With singer Mike Mohawk slurring and spitting his way through a trainwreck of rapid-fire riffing, breathless drumming, and oceans of the cheapest beer these dudes' weary livers could stand, the Agitated were a sneering snapshot of early hardcore. Yeah, the playing is often suspect, the sound quality is even worse, and somehow this band manages to fuck up a classic like Motörhead's "Iron Fist." But judging this disc on those merits is like critiquing the smoothness of a shot of moonshine. What matters is the force with which this stuff hits, and on cuts like the bare-knuckle "Almost Straight Edge," the barely comprehensible "Outta My Way," and the loud, triumphant take on MC5's "Kick Out the Jams," this 1,000-watt band is a blackout-in-waiting.

Speaking of Regional Beat

More by Jason Bracelin

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