F.U.’s – Death Squad Nostalgia EP
Yankee Vandal Records
F.U.’s are a legendary hardcore band from Boston, MA. In the early 1980s, Boston had a really great hardcore punk scene back when that genre was just starting to spread across the country. The F.U.’s were among the most popular of the Boston hardcore scene, which also included such greats as SSD, DYS, Gang Green, Jerry’s Kids, The Proletariat, and others. The band was active from 1981 – 1986. During that time they put out three albums, Kill For Christ, My America, and Do We Really Want To Hurt You. As the years passed, the band’s sound progressed and started going in a more rock direction (but don’t dismiss that final album, it is as good as the first two and is actually the one I play the most) and in 1986, the band changed their name to the Straw Dogs and continued in the rock/metal direction, putting out only a few records before calling it a day.
In recent years, F.U.’s have done the occasional reunion gig on the east coast and now has released their first new record in nearly 37 years! Death Squad Nostalgia, a seven song 12″ EP, sees the band as a five-piece, featuring all three founding members. The band has gone back to more of their roots and this EP sounds like a natural follow up to 1984’s Do We Really Want to Hurt You.
The record opens with “Razor”, a punchy mid-tempo number with a catchy singalong chorus. The guitars are every bit as crunchy as I remember and John Sox’s bellowing vocals sound as good and strong as ever. “Eyeless” is a faster song that is more akin to hardcore, but still tuneful and not quite that fast. It is evident already in the first two songs that the band still has a lot in the tank. The title track closes out the first side. It’s even faster than the first two songs and has a great guitar lead and interesting tempo changes and another great singalong chorus. It’s easily climbing the ranks into my list of favorite F.U.’s songs already and is the strongest song on side one.
Side two starts with “Kiss Me Andromeda” which is another faster song in the hardcore vein. It too has a great catchy chorus and some singalong lines. “Give Me Your Agonizer” is probably the closest thing to their earlier works in its speed and delivery and will probably have you starting a mosh pit in your living room (or a slam pit if you want to make it period authentic). “Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down” is a Kris Kristofferson cover, but done in the F.U.’s style. It’s pretty good, but easily my least favorite track on this record. The EP closes with “Mexican Cokes” (which was my beverage of choice until I quit drinking soda/pop) that starts with a militaristic drum beat and chant. It goes into high speed from there and is over before you know it. I can see that one being a big hit during their live shows from this point forward.
It’s nice to once again be living in a world where F.U.’s are making records again, and even better that they still make excellent ones. It’s so great to have them back and if you were ever a fan of their earlier works, this EP will find a happy home in your record collection alongside those classic albums. Well done, F.U.’s, and welcome back!