Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Minor Threat - Out Of Step

Minor Threat - Out Of Step
Release - 1983

Story by Greg Polard, former singer of One Up.

Editor's note:  Since this is an album on a major label, there is no download link available.

April 2, 1994. I can still remember the exact date which I first heard this album. Pretty easy since it was my 13th birthday. I had gone up to New Hope with my friend Rich and his parents and was looking to shell out some birthday cash for some new tunes (remember when people bought music?). At this point in my life I'd just gotten into more "underground" bands like Sonic Youth and Fugazi. Bands that weren't all over MTV and radio. From this, I learned about Dischord Records, which in turn led me to Minor Threat. When I saw this cassette in the store, I grabbed it immediately thinking it must be some type of rare find. I had no idea at that point that you could purchase their entire output on one CD, so this tape had to do. We got back into the car and my friend and I asked if we could put it on the tape deck. I'll never forget hearing the opening chords of "Betray" and how insanely fast Jeff Nelson's drumming was to me at that time (and still is, really). The fact that they recorded this album as a 5 piece really shows. Brian Baker playing guitar (where he belongs) added so much dynamic to their songs. And then there's Ian MacKaye's vocals. I was reading along with the lyrics the entire time. By the time we got to "Out Of Step" I was 100% sold. Here was the angriest and fastest music I'd ever heard in my life, and the singer is saying that he doesn't smoke, drink, fuck. Because of this, he is "out of step with the world". At 13 years old this blew my mind. Going against the grain, against the very things that society embraces...well that's fucking punk rock. From that day on, I declared myself as straight edge and never looked back. It was a genuine life changing moment. Minor Threat were the perfect hardcore band. They came in, wrote about two dozen flawless songs, then called it a day. No reunion tours. No reunion albums. No "solo" sets where Ian has some scab backing band playing the hits. It was a moment in time that you were either lucky enough to be there for, or like myself, wish you could've been there for. Thanks to Ian, Lyle, Brian, Steve and Jeff. You changed my life forever with these 9 songs and I'm forever grateful. I'll end this with a quote from Mr. MacKaye himself taken from an interview withapproachingoblivion.blogspot.com earlier this year that sums it up better than I ever could:

"If you wanted to see Minor Threat, why would you want to see a guy who is 49 years old, doing a song he wrote when he was 19? I think that’s just insane. I tell people, I love Minor Threat, but that band belongs to that moment in time. I think the music holds up because it is an honest expression, and that's why people can still relate to it. If you want to see Minor Threat, form a fucking band, that’s minor threat."

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