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June 18, 2024

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The Authorized Bruisers (1988-1994)
Anything You Want, It's All Right Here (Cyclone Records)

By: Alex Steininger

Aptly titled ANYTHING YOU WANT, IT'S ALL RIGHT HERE, this twenty-eight song CD covers the underground street punk phenomenon known as The Bruisers from 1988-1994. After releasing their MOLOTOV CD/EP on Cyclone Records in late '97, many fans kept writing in asking where they could find earlier Bruisers material. With most of it long out of print, and fetching high dollars on the collectors market, they once again teamed up with Cyclone Records to release many of their out of print 7"'s, EP's, and various other material. Including songs from the 1994 CRUISIN' FOR A BRUISIN' album, the 1991 INDEPENDENCE DAY cassette, the AMERICAN NIGHT single, as well as their first ever release, INTIMIDATION, this CD serves up all the Bruisers you could ever need. Including other material as well, this CD serves as a trophy for the Bruisers long standing underground career.

Showing the muscle this band possesses, "Intimidation" kicks it off with a chunky bass line. Hard hitting drums with lots of cymbals and a screaming guitar also help compose the song, while rough vocals lead. Obviously not the best recording, as this was included on their first release, the fuzz and garage sound recording helps to add to the whole atmosphere of the song. As they bash it out, light backing shouts help add a little bit of melody, while for most of the song it's just a band banging it out and recording themselves pure. "Overthrow" once again kicks it off with a brutal bass line, before the rest of the band comes right in banging away. The bass is very dominant, almost controlling the song, while the drums crash in the background and help share a little of the control. The guitar screams along with the song, while the vocals shoot words out at a rapid fire pace. "Never Fall," off the INDEPENDENCE DAY cassette, is one of the last recorded songs with co-founding member Scotty Davies, and the last of the infamous Bunkhouse recordings. Starting out with a fierce guitar, rather than a brutal bass line, they once again bash it out and just do whatever comes natural to them. No fancy producing and recording equipment, these recordings capture the band at the heart of their performing. "Nation On Fire," a Blitz cover song, shows the band can not only write good songs of their own, but they can also take other peoples material and mix it into their sound quite well. Starting off with some pogo guitar you can dance with, they soon turn up the heat and blast into their raw punk style. Adding a touch of melodic hooks in to the mix, as well as some interesting guitar work, they keep the song very intriguing. "American Night" takes their standard speed and doubles it. Whipping this one out with twice the intensity and speed, they get you moving frantically to keep up with the pace. Slowing down for a few seconds near the end, they soon whip it back up and get you moving frantically once again. Re-recording the same song for their CRUISIN' FOR A BRUISIN' full-length on Primitive Records, they increase the intensity and power of the song with better production and sound quality. Taking a giant leap from their previous cassette and 7" releases, their debut CD shows a vastly matured band. Ending with the GATES OF HELL 7", "Tear It Up" shows a band moving in a nice direction.

One thing that was very crucial to this compilation was the fact that is was put in chronological order. You get to hear the band as they mature and get more comfortable with their own song writing abilities. The fan of classic punk, street punk, and oi music will find great value in this CD. However, modern day "punk" kids who think Southern California is the breeding ground for everything punk will probably not find interest in this disc due to its lack of melody and hooks. Hard edged street music that is pure and honest, this career-to-date retrospective is a something that will fit nicely into every punkers collection. I'll give this CD a B.

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