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V/A - Busted At Oz (Permanent)

15 March 2011

The infamous Chicago Oz club was shut down by Mayor Richard J. Daley in 1981. How fitting that as his son leaves his reign of terror against the arts behind as Chicago’s mayor, that Busted At Oz would rise again. Permanent Records has reissued this essential time capsule of Chicago’s underappreciated punk scene. Recorded over three days, the best that Chicago punk had to offer at the time assembled in the club well-known for serving alcohol to under age kids (most of which were in bands). Unlike You Weren’t There, 2009’s more comprehensive compilation/documentary on the scene, Oz concentrates on the cream of the crop. These raw live performances run the gamut in both quality and style. DA is the least aggressive but hardly shying away from confrontation. Windy city legends Naked Raygun were a great band that hadn’t quite figured it out to this point, Silver Abuse were more funny and antagonistic. Both bands performed the song “Bomb Shelter”, which was penned by Camilo Gonzalez. The versions differ greatly despite Gonzalez later being in Naked Raygun.

The best performances on here are courtesy of Strike Under, Effigies, and Subverts (Raygun’s own Jeff Pezzati has claimed that his band played the worst on the comp). While Silver Abuse Subverts would only ever release a 7”, Strike Under a 12” EP (the first release by the legendary Wax Trax label), DA released one of each, the Effigies and Naked Raygun are still touring and recording to this day. This is a must-have for curators and fans of the scene alike. Credit Permanent Records for giving it back to us at a much more reasonable price. But act fast, as only 500 copies have been pressed and I’ve got one.