Minor Threat barely released any music in their existence but still I’ve created a page for “all” of my Minor Threat reviews.
Reviews of Minor Threat’s two EPs, both from 1981:
“Minor Threat” (10/10)
Note: this is an EP in name only, it’s really just a single, albeit with 8 songs.
Minor Threat weren’t together very long and put it so little music you can get all of it on one CD (the essential Complete Discography) but they are perhaps the purest example of American hardcore: faster than nearly everyone, louder than nearly everyone, angrier than most, and seemingly more principled than everyone else. (Though I am not personally a believer in any of that “straight edge” stuff I do feel like it fits in with everything else they’re doing.)
This is the first record and the “purest” if you are about such things. It’s the template for straight edge but it’s also about as good an example of hardcore as you’re going to find.
Minor Threat: “In My Eyes” (9/10)
More musically interesting than the self-titled EP but also a little less effective.
1983: Out of Step (10/10)
In 2005, or so, I wrote the following:
I am tempted to call this the perfect hardcore album. It’s exactly what it should be. I couldn’t give a shit about the “straight edge” stuff, as that matters little to anyone outside of “punk” music. But the music itself is near-perfect and the lyrics are consistently awesome (especially for a guy this young). Is this the pinnacle of hardcore?
This is the shortest LP on my list of 1983 album reviews (it’s EP-length) but I think it is the purest distillation of hardcore: louder, angry and principled.
Yes, Minor Threat do not have the distinctive sound of the Kennedys, and they are less musically interesting than Black Flag, or any of the hardcore bands that grew into other things (i.e. the Minneapolis scene). But if I wanted someone to know what hardcore punk was, I’d play them this record.
The only thing that makes me think it isn’t essential is that you can go out and get Complete Discography and hear their entire oeuvre instead.
1989: Complete Discography (10/10)
In 2005, I wrote:
Even though it’s a compilation I am tempted to call this the perfect hardcore album. It’s exactly what it should be. I couldn’t give a shit about the “straight edge” stuff, as that matters little to anyone outside of “punk” music. But the music itself is near-perfect and the lyrics are consistently awesome (especially for a guy this young). Is this the pinnacle of hardcore?
It’s true. If you want to understand hardcore or the evolution of punk, just listen to this.
I an Mackaye went on to form Fugazi and you can read those reviews here.