""Total Recall" is one of the best representations of hardcore that America has produced. It's not that Negative Approach are great musicians or lyricists, and the production is not what some people would call "passable" (though I love the raw stuff) ... it's that the sheer anger and nihilistic hopelessness that so many of us have experienced at one time or another comes through loud and clear in their music.
I have to take issue with a previous reviewer's comments on this album. He wrote that NA didn't "get it," that they were too one-dimensional and were just acting out on one aspect of punk/hardcore; the anger and disaffection.
Well, maybe that's how NA ACTUALLY felt. If they did write these songs out of affectation, I certainly don't hear it. The first 11 tracks (their song off of the "Process of Elimination" comp and their self titled 7") in particular are so full of venom and bile, with Brannon's perfectly growled vocals, that I can't believe Negative Approach didn't mean every word they sung at the time they were singing them.
Besides, I think bands like SSD are what made people laugh at hardcore (I love SSD too, by the way). The militantly straight edge bands that emerged in the early 80s probably did far more to alienate people than bands like NA. Yeah, maybe NA's fans were meatheads and skinheads... but, then again, so were a lot of Black Flag's (and Fear's!) fans.
At any rate, all that aside, this album rocks. The "Tied Down" LP isn't that great, but the rest of the tracks more than make up for it. Happy, well-adjusted people may not dig it, but as for angry f**k-ups, well, Negative Approach is IT."
Nobody else mentioned it
Joseph D Poerschke | Albuquerque, NM | 05/22/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Negative Approach is fantastic. Nobody else mentioned it so I'll say that you should also check out the Laughing Hyenas. This is what Negative Approach turned into. Hard Times is a kickin' bluesy postpunk album. If you were listening to Negative Approach when you were young you've probably grown up a bit by now. Nice to see how there hardcore boys matured."
chris lea | boerne, tx | 12/28/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"negative approach was it. the most angry, crushing hardcore band around at the time. they made their (also excellent) fellow mid-westerners the necros look like...i dunno a pop punk band or something, and that's pretty hard to do...this collection damn well better be in every punk's collection. it gathers their all time classic 10 song 7", the song off the 'process of elimination' comp 7", and the 'tied down' lp, plus a bunch of live and demo stuff. the unreleased stuff is all disposible due to horrible sound except for the last 6 tracks, which feature some otherwise unavailable tracks. overall, this is more than worth its price."
Seminal blast of 1981 Midwest Hardcore..Raging MUSCLEHEAD!
chris lea | 01/02/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you like your PUNK ROCK straight up in a dirty glass..This CD IS A MUST HAVE..Culled from all their recorded works the quality ranges from raw barely listenable, to Wall Of Thrash Wonderful! Vocalist John Brannon is a screamer alot like Louie from SICK OF IT ALL..Early Midwest Hardcore at it's Finest!!"
Smack you in the face hardcore
riot67 | detroit | 04/29/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
". . .Angry, smack you in the face hardcore! Detroits answer to Minor Threat. Angry music for angry times(Ie: The Regan Adminsitration). Everybody, at least in Detroit was unemployed and everyone was pissed off. If you grew up in these troubled times you'll understand, if you didn't though you probably won't. Sound quality suffers however and this does diminsh some of the impact. Overall an important document of early 80's hardcore."