Minor Threat

Complete Discography (Dischord í90) Rating: B
Considered by many to be the ďseminalĒ early Ď80s hardcore band, Minor Threat were led by a serious screamer in Ian MacKaye, later of Fugazi. MacKayís smartly confrontational lyrics were what really made the band stand out, even more so than their bracing blur of a sound, which was led by Lyle Preslarís careening guitar and Jeff Nelsonís blistering backbeats. Now, Iíll admit that Iím coming at this all ass backwards, discovering Minor Threat after having already heard Fugazi, who I far prefer. Donít get me wrong, this band plays both fast and well, which was probably pretty thrilling back in the bandís 1981-1984 heyday, but by now Complete Discography sounds fairly unremarkable and very one-dimensional over the course of its 26 similar sounding songs. Many of these songs barely last a minute, and everything the band ever recorded can be found on this generous compilation, which was distributed by MacKayeís own Dischord label with a highly principled price tag. Thatís right, even back then MacKaye and company were putting their fan friendly money where their mouths were, making me want to endorse the band beyond their sober lyrics of self-empowerment. But musically these admittedly intense (and influential) songs just donít turn me on all that much. I mean, the Ramones and Motorhead (to cite just two superior examples) had tons of energy and played fast and furious, too, but in addition to a sense of humor they had the one thing that Minor Threat largely lacked: memorable songs.

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