Recorded at inner ear studios, arlington, virginia between april 1981 and december 1983. the washington, d.c. straightedge hardcore punk scene began with minor threat. the band recorded two lps on its own dischord label, plus an ep and the miscellaneous singles that are collected on this cd. many of the early recordings on this collection seethe with teen-age angst and indignation. the songs rage against bullies, religious hypocrisy, and the herd mentality. other songs, taken from later in minor threat’s career, feature tighter and more sophisticated playing. metallic flourishes tinge the guitar work, vocal harmonies abound, and song dynamics vary more than on the earlier record. on certain songs, ian mackaye’s lyrics address the complexities of friendship, loyalty, and self-expression. ‘look back and laugh,’ ‘little friend,’ and ‘it follows’ all incline more toward introspection and ambiguity; conveying loss and sadness in addition to outrage. this second set of songs seems to especially anticipate mackaye’s later work with fugazi. the album also contains a few playful numbers like the sing-along cover of ‘stepping stone,’ and ‘cashing in,’ a mocking dig at greedy musicians. minor threat believed completely in the power of its music, helping earn a loyal fan following and the respect of numerous other bands who emulated its style and credo.
(Dischord Records)