Government Issue was one of the two longest running punk rock bands from Washington DC (Fugazi being the other one) and they were certainly one of the best bands to ever come from that area. The band was rare in the fact that they got better as the years progressed while most bands got worse as time wore on. The band put out an impressive discography in their time together however most of it hasn’t been available on vinyl in twenty years. This was due to things like the band breaking up, vinyl taking a back seat for years to those shiny little coasters, and the original label they were on, Fountain of Youth Records, closing up shop in the late 1980’s. Doctor Strange Records has been reissuing the band’s albums on vinyl one by one with exclusive bonus tracks and they have just released the latest one.
The self-titled Government Issue album which was often known as GI5 is now available on vinyl for the first time in over two decades in a deluxe reissue that puts the original pressing to shame. This reissue has not only been remastered but it contains four bonus tracks not found on the original version or on the CD. The four bonus songs are studio outtakes and alternate versions of songs that were on the original album and they were added at the end of the album so as not to break up the flow of the original presentation.
The LP comes in a standard full-color jacket that reproduces the original artwork with only the label information, additional song titles and credits being changed to reflect what was changed/added to the reissue. The record labels themselves preserve the artwork and look of the original as well with only the label info changing and additional song titles being added. The original pressing of the album contained an insert that simply had a few photos on it along with some credits. For this reissue the insert has been ditched in favor of a glossy printed inner sleeve. The sleeve has the original photos and credits on one side along with new liner notes by John Stabb. The other side features a bunch of additional photos, the lyrics to all the songs(!), and liner notes by Tom Lyle. The vinyl itself sounds better than ever and comes on black vinyl as well as a very limited (200) pressing on white vinyl. The overall packaging is really slick and the best yet of the Government Issue reissue series which is fitting as GI5 was one of the band’s best albums.
The album should be available at any good record stores that carry punk records but if not you can grab yourself one directly from Doctor Strange Records. If you do be sure and thank them for caring enough to reissue this timeless classic.