"This is, without a doubt, Naked Raygun's best release. This is the first album to feature the "classic" Raygun line up of Pezzati/Haggerty/Kedzy/Spicer. From beginning to end, every song is great. The bonus tracks are "Slim", the b-side to the group's legendary "Vanilla Blue" single and tribute to actor Slim Pickens, and "Rocks Of Sweden", and song Raygun covered that was originally written by Pierre Kezdy for his old band, Trial By Fire. This is classic Chicago punk rock. If you're looking to get into Naked Raygun, start here."
How the midwest was won
punxnotdead | Boardman, OH(Hell) | 06/06/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In the early 80's, like many large cities, Chicago had a punk scene. bands like Big Black, Screeching Weasel, The Jesus Lizard, and of Course, Naked Raygun. Four guys from Chicago, Ill. with new dreams that they were gonna make real(pun intended). With Jeff Pezati on vox, Pierre Kezedy on bass, Eric Spicer on drums and tools, and of course John Haggerty on guitar, they crafted a sound that struck a balance between the English punk of the Buzzcocks and the industrial noise of Chicago heroes Big Black(in which lead singer Jeff Pezati played bass in; on a side note, producer Steve Albini was in that band too). This 1985 album was a strong point for the band, featuring the moving, anthemic opener "Home Of The Brave". The album then goes in the mambo meets machine rhythms of "Dog At Large" strangely, no lyrics listed in the CD booklet. The semi-folky, semi-punky love song "Knock Me Down" follows, but doesn't really connect. The album then goes in the Chicago-blues influenced rocker "Mr. Gridlock", which features some power drill sounds in the intro courtesy of drummer Eric Spicer(it was hard not to be influenced by the city's blues scene, even if you were a punk, The Jesus Lizard display this influence blatantly on their 1991 albums, Goat). "The Strip" follows after an electronic swish, a kind of hardcore punk meets bar-band song about strip clubs and male bonding. "I Remember" is a bittersweet recollection of life and it's trials, while "Those Who Move" is (I think) about the fear of change. "Backlash Jack".....well I don't know what that song's about, it kinda speaks for itself. Sample lyric: "Backlash Jack...oh waht happened to me....whoa oh." "The Envelope" comes next....it reminds me of the movie "Office Space." The CD version has a tribute to comic legend Slim Pickens, which is mildly funny, I guess. "The Peacemaker" is blatant nod to Big Black, except more machine-like and less melodramatic. "New Dreams", written by Big Black member Santiago Durango, was written for singer Jeff Pezati's old band Trial By Fire. An okay song at best, but not bad either. Overall, a great album. standouts include , "Home Of The Brave", "Dog At Large", "Mr. Gridlock", "The Strip", "The Envelope", and "Backlash Jack." If you don't have this album...bow your head in shame."
Chicago's second best punk band
beechdog | Fort Collins, Colorado United States | 08/17/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Other than Big Black, Naked Raygun define Chicago punk more than anyone else. A great album to make you bust out your dusty skateboard and hang out in front of the house harrassing the neighbors (even if your pushing 30)."
Ahhh... the old school...
Daniel Lane | Denver CO | 03/21/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This one brings back the memories! Me and the boys headin down to the "Riv" (the Riviera) to see Raygun play... skankin in the pit... plastic rayguns falling from the cieling... the good old days... This album is one of the quinticential albums of the 80's Chicago punk scene, along with Big Black and The Jesus Lizard. An absolute must have!"