"I don't know why I feel compelled to set the record straight, but the two previous reviews seem ill informed. I'm skeptical of reviews by anyone who, as of this posting, has given a perfect 5 star review to every single review they've posted (look at the profile)... and the next guy, well, he's probably a nice kid.Once again, I disclaim, this is not a bad album. If you don't have any Circle Jerks albums, don't buy this, buy "Wonderful". Then, if you like "Wonderful", buy some of their earlier formative work. However, if you already have a couple of their other albums, then buy this. You will enjoy it and it will help complete your collection. For the record, when I was about 17 I bought this recording on vinyl, the moment it was released... and I listened to it a lot... and I enjoyed it.I'm going to give some back story to this album. Context is everything, and while it may go beyond a music review, I believe there is something to be learned about the music by knowing some context.For starters, for whatever else can be said of this album, the Circle Jerks kept their sarcastic sense of humor. That is as evident in the lyrics as in the album title: "Circle Jerks VI" was their 5th album.Unfortunately "VI" was also the album where they lost their innocence, so to speak, and the music industry reared its ugly head. The main difference between "VI" and all their previous recordings has nothing to do with the line-up change. That had already taken place.The difference was MONEY.When they went to record "VI", they had just been hired to record the title-track for the movie "Sid & Nancy" (staring Gary Oldman). This was their 'big-break'. This album was suppose to catapult them from the punk rock underground and into mainstream accessibility... the expectation was that "VI" was going to sell a lot of albums and make them rock stars.It was a time when lawyers got involved...The Circle Jerks mascot, Skank Man (on the cover), was originally created by California poster artist Shawn Kerri. She also did work for a lot of other CA punk acts of the day including the Germs. There were no contracts between Kerri and the band or the label or their managing agent, etc. The Circle Jerks managing agent and record label decided that The Circle Jerks Inc. owned the "Skank Man" mascot, wouldn't pay Kerri and even tried to sue her! To avoid a lawsuit ruining a friendship, Kerri signed over the rights to "Skank Man" to Keith Morris for free just to end the dispute. Notice the new commercially produced, fancy full-color (with shadows even) version of "Skank Man" for the cover of "VI" is not in the hard-line black and white ink drawn style created by Kerri.What is very apparent about "VI", the minute you press play is the production quality. My subjective opinion is that this album was way over produced. All their previous albums sound like they were put down live in the studio in one or two takes. On "VI" every song sounds like it had 15 takes with multiple over dubbed guitar solos, maybe the vocals were laid down in a separate sound booth... you get the idea. They even mastered it at Capital Records. It is possible that when they went into the studio they said, 'This is how we'd have liked to record every album, if only we could have afforded it!', and if so, then more power to them, but I think it lost something. The prior 'low-budget' albums sounded raw. They had a "punk rock" edge to them. "Circle Jerks VI" sounds like they spent so much time polishing it that they polished the edges down smooth.Fortunately Keith's voice is still Keith and that saves the album. If not for Keith's vocals, this would not even be a Punk Rock album. It would be a Hard Rock, or dare I say, a Heavy Metal album. If you like AC/DC, you could really get into this album. By the way, that is not an insult. I like AC/DC myself, and I do like this album. That said, if you like Guns-N-Roses, you very well may enjoy this album too. This is BY FAR the most accessible of any of the Circle Jerks recordings, as I'm sure it was meant to be. You cannot blame a band for trying to expand their audience. The Circle Jerks always had latent Metal tendencies. That was actually one of their strengths. It set their sound apart. Depending on your ear: on one extreme this album finally brought that potential to its full exploitation, or from a different point of view, this album finally proved they were not really punks, but closet metal heads. I heard that later opinion expressed a lot when this album first came out. Maybe so, but it is still a good album, even if it is not a great one.Unfortunately for the Circle Jerks, the movie producers for "Sid & Nancy" got Joe Strummer to re-record "Love Kills" for the Sid & Nancy soundtrack, and the Circle Jerks version got sidelined (The Soundtrack CD includes both versions). The movie did great, but The Circle Jerks didn't get all the movie related publicity that was anticipated for the album's release and their version of "Love Kills" just became an add-on track thrown onto this record.I don't really blame the shot at fame, and corporate noodling for busting up the band after this record (OK, technically they didn't break up, they just didn't put out another studio album for about a decade, whatever). The music buying audience changed. Punk was dieing. If they did like the Beastie Boys and became punk-rap crossover, maybe they'd still be relevant today. Instead they did punk-metal crossover at a time when metal was dieing out as fast as punk."
David K. Baird | 04/15/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a strong Circle Jerks album. Definitly one of the bands best. The Circle Jerks refine thier music here, slowing down the tempo and stregthening the guitar attack. And still they manage to retain thier classic hardcore sound, thanks to Kieth Morris' raspy vocals.Musically, VI is superior to any of the bands previous albums, the band sounds like its at the top of its game here. The slightly metal edge of VI may turn off some hardcore fans however, as does the guitar solos and higher production quality.But as a whole, VI is an experience not to be missed. Songwriting is excellent, with a large number of superb songs written by bassist Zander Schloss. Schloss appears to be a great contribution to the band and an excellent writer. Song highlights include "Casualty Vampire," "I don't," "Beat me Senseless," (one of the best songs the Circle Jerks ever recorded), and the anthem "All Wound up." "I'm Alive" deserves mention as well, with amazing lyrics and a strong chorus.VI is a great record and definitly deserving of a good listen."
This one got stuck in my tape deck
David K. Baird | Missoula, Montana | 06/02/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is no lie. About 6 years ago this album got stuck in the tape deck of my truck, so I listened to it for 6 months straight. It is such a great album, that even after all that time, I still love to crank the album to ten!"
A improvement over Wonderful
Mike | somewhere | 10/06/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This even though while not being their best , is a much more improvement over Wonderful which also had the new lineup. "Casualty Vampires" is the best song on here. " Beat Me Senseless" , " All Wound Up" , and " I Don't" are also real good. Check out the other albums , Group Sex , Wild In The Streets , and Golden Shower Of Hits ."
A Must Buy
Mike | 01/16/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"VI is a must buy for fans of the Jerks. The songs are not repetitive, and most are very good. "Beat Me Senseless", "Casualty Vampires" and their cover of "Fortunate Son" stand out the most. A great album from a great band. Buy it!"