Let’s Have Another War
FEAR have come back to remind us all why they are considered one of the most influential punk bands of the ’70s and ’80s with a re-recording of their hard-hitting The FEAR Record, originally from 1982. While this will be a great chance for them to reach an audience who may not have seen SLC Punk, it does beg the question: was this necessary? There’s something to be said about updating your sound, eliminating the crackles and pops that came with recording in the ’80s, but one could posit that there’s even more to be said for sticking with the raw sounds of your roots.
The FEAR Record is a great blast into the past, as it starts right out with the well known “I Love Living In The City.” It’s a bit of a shock, though, to hear a song that has been so often played in the past 30 years with a fresher and clearer sound, but you’re still left with the same adrenaline rush the original provides. As you delve further into the record, songs like “Foreign Policy” are a reminder of the relevance of older punk records in today’s political climate, and that, re-recorded or not, we shouldn’t forget what people were screaming about years ago. This album is chock full of high energy, raw, driving songs, but it ends with “Getting The Brush,” which has the discordant and dark feel of songs like “Nothing Left Inside” by Black Flag; it’s still strong and intense, but in a different way than we expect from FEAR.
Fans of any old school punk and hardcore should, if they haven’t already, explore the world of FEAR, and especially The Record. It really has something for everybody, including a dash of Toasters-influenced ska in the song “New York’s Alright If You Like Saxophones,” and enough heavy vocals to satisfy the biggest hardcore fans. While you should certainly check out the original recording for a more authentic early punk sound, this re-release will definitely appeal to a younger audience, as well as older fans of the original.