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Don Austin 

Les Theatres du Grand Guignol (Rubber City)

With Les Theatres du Grand Guignol, hardcore phenom Don Austin reluctantly makes just a couple concessions to the digital age, making its non-vinyl debut by collecting its three seven-inch EPs onto one CD. "We believe in records, and that's how we'd like to release our songs, but at a certain point, you want to get heard too," says Larry Gargus, singer for the Akron band. And Don Austin should be heard. Hardcore is more popular than ever, and this band makes it like few have since the mid-'80s.

Like most of the hardcore greats, Don Austin can really play -- and murderously fast. Grand Guignol features 30 songs in 30 minutes, as well as five new tracks, including covers of the Misfits' "Horror Business" and Devo's "Slap Yo' Mammy." If this anthology finds an audience, expect impressionable young hellions to start covering sledgehammer originals like "You Will Never Kick and You Will Die a Junkie" and "Thulsa Doom." Old school, welcome to the 21st century.

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