Complete Discography

Minor Threat

Dischord, 1988

REVIEW BY: Sean McCarthy


For all the critical raves bestowed upon Fugazi, it's easy to forget Ian MacKaye founded another D.C. band: Minor Threat.

Minor Threat's self-titled album was ferocious, politically charged and serious as a spinal epidural. While most punk bands indulged in the traditional rock excesses of substances, MacKaye was steadfast anti-drug and anti-drinking.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

If you're going to pick any Minor Threat album, it may as well be Complete Discography, which is virtually everything the band recorded fit onto one CD. The album contains their eponymous release and their Out of Step EP. Like any good punk album, it's hard to criticize any song because most of the songs barely hit two minutes.

Even with MacKaye's seriousness, Minor Threat tore through their songs with a drunken playfulness, which came from bassist Steve Hansgen and Brian Baker (Baker also played guitar), guitarist Lyle Preslar and drummer Jeff Nelson. Their sloppy, kinetic chops probably caused many-a-concertgoers to mistake "Bottled Violence" as an endorsement for kicking the shit out of someone in the mosh pit.

You'll need a lyric sheet to decipher most of the songs in Complete Discography. You'll most likely want a lyric sheet to make sure you don't mistake a song like "Guilty Of Being White" for being a racist song. Yes, the band's image included shaved heads and leather boots and the song begins with something straight out of a Michael Savage rant ("I'm sorry / For something I didn't do / Lynched somebody / But I don't know who / You blame for slavery / A hundred years before I was born"), but the song ends with the narrator serving time of a racist crime. With music like this, it's hard to gauge for subtleties and double-meanings when the music is intense enough to piss off most any neighbor.

Fugazi gave MacKaye a more diverse easel to work with, but Minor Threat helped lay the foundation for the influential D.C. punk music scene in the '80s. Complete Discography is not an album most listeners are going to put on 'repeat,' but any self-respecting punk purist should have this in their collection.

Rating: B

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© 2005 Sean McCarthy and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Dischord, and is used for informational purposes only.