The Minutemen were the secret 3-Way Dylan of the 80's
J. Holmes | 02/06/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is not at all "for fans only" but is a very generous package.
This was the first Minutemen album (though it isn't an album actually) I ever owned, and as a package it is cherished by me up there with their masterwork, Double Nickels On The Dime. Each time these guys were recorded it was as if they were caught styling around a different "phase" or Period of their sound each time they recorded. The Punch Line, What Makes A Man, Double Nickels were all recorded in one or two day chunk- marathon sessions. The biggest chunk of the material here comes from The Politics of Time, which is itself a collection of material that was not included on Double Nickels. The song cycle of studio material from "Base King" to "Maternal Rite" is a unique moment, some of their most rocking, "interesting" stuff in terms of where they were with their sound with these songs, -- I would place it as a further progression of Buzz Or Howl's "heavy" sharp sound and the quirkiness of What Makes a Man, that is, as opposed the definite change in Double Nickels toward a jammier, laid back, San Pedro driving sound that went on to become the Mersh/3 Way "commercial"/folky sound.... So this is the confidence of Double Nickels but eccentricity of earlier records. At times it sounds to me like a twangy Fugazi....
The 2nd half of Politics is not studio, but live stuff, some of which is really great, like "Tony Gets Wasted", as well as a pack of songs that seem almost made on the spot, and it is true that the Minutemen spun songs out like confetti out of a pinata.... The 3 live songs after "Badges" are really sloppy and great to listen to drunk, especially with the funny live audience sounds of a very drunk woman saying something about a chicken and D. Boon's "We don't need no badges" refrain.
But what else does this CD include? You couldn't possibly complain. First you have the classic 1st 7 inch, a real "brick" like the man said, -- their first raw and punky single compact with songs of American paranoia. Here you have the Minutemen already showing their historical side with the marching "Fascist", is like watching a screaming reel of historical footage pass by very rapidly (the only downside of the 7"'s inclusion here is that you really have to listen to a song like "Sickles & Hammers" and "Fascist" on vinyl, the incredble instrumental before it that Sebadoh great as they were couldn't cover as well, a weird punk song about dictionaries? and two great Reagan era punk songs . . . you can say what you want about rock n roll especially punk lacking artistry and finesse, scope, etc. but this is the genuine article here, -- when you first hear the band discussing how to sing over "Joe Mc Carthy's Ghost" as its slamming drums commence you can say to yourself "My, they are really something Else." You know you are in the presence of unusual talent.
There is also the fantastic Joy EP, -- three great Wire-like rolls that has D.'s guitar playing really mean for the first time. And then the great Bean-Spill EP, including the rolling and Watt-sung song that asks what "If Reagan Played Disco", and the great "Afternoons", all which go together very well and tightly in a compact EP.... And at the end you have a choice treat of the Tour-Spiel LP, which is four covers of great songs, which as Trouser Press commented all still sound really like the Minutemen, even CCR's Green River.
Ah, ahm, the Minutemen, the Minutemen. They are beloved to me, immortal in my heart. I first heard them when I was 14 and I never grew out of them, even though I grew away from most of that musique. Ah, but the Minutemen! You must have them!"
Great collection, but for true fans only
Michael B. Richman | Portland, Maine USA | 07/11/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Post Mersh Volume 3" collects the Minutemen's earliest material -- three EPs ("Paranoid Time," Bean Spill," and "Tour Spiel"), "The Politics of Time" LP and the "Joy 7" -- together on one CD. However, most of this stuff is for true fans only. A lot of it is recorded poorly, and there are some very "young" compositions. Still, the songs have great energy and "The Politics of Time" material is as good as anything else pre-"Double Nickels on the Dime." The fact that all this music (almost 70 minutes) is available for one low price bumps it up to a four star review in my opinion."
Spiel after spiel
J. Holmes | yokohama, japan | 01/23/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"somewhere along the line, "Futurism Restated" became my favorite Minutemen song. and it is contained here on this incredible collection. The Politics Of Time full-length (tracks 16-42) contain some of their best material that was ever put to tape; but the first 15 songs on this cd are almost equal in terms of their powerful no-nonsense approach to music making. the final four tracks are cover songs played live. the recording quality on these final four songs is quite poor (probably recorded on a boom box), but for a fan, it's enjoyable enough."