Circle Jerks
Group Sex


4.5
superb

Review

by Rudd13 USER (61 Reviews)
November 26th, 2005 | 24 replies


Release Date: 1980 | Tracklist


Circle Jerks- Group Sex

-When a group of males stand in a circle to jerÖ

Whoa there, hold yer horses. Iíd be leading into one hell of a misuse for the definition of the phrase weíre looking at here. I say, on with the review.

It was the early 80ís, and by now, ďhardcoreĒ punk had nearly exploded upon everything else that consisted of any recognizable pull to the genre. In Los Angeles, it had become average for a spontaneous rise of a new group to hit the scene every few months. Among some of the most highly successful groups of the genre hurling out of the area at the time include The Germs, X, The Screamers, Fear, and the Circle Jerks. With middle-fingers outstretched, and huge smirks wiping across their faces, the Circle Jerks were first widely documented in the film Decline Of Western Civilization, a movie focusing on the Los Angeles punk scene in the early 80ís. The bands listed above were interviewed and recorded at their shows, and shown to a grand audience that later became most of their loving fans.

You could say a small part of fellow ďhardcoreĒ band Black Flag has always been with the Jerks, because in a sense, this is true. Vocalist Keith Morris, who founded the Jerks with guitarist Greg Hetson, was one of the original members of Black Flag, and merely recorded one single for the band until he decided to leave and start his own universe of perverted, crude ambiguity, that may I add, very quickly shot the band into the very peak of the mountain thatís been called American punk. Group Sex is the bandís debut LP, and also one of the very highly distinguished, and most well-known albums of the 80ís. What the Jerks offered to their audience in and out of the studio was a rush of reality-depraved subjects, but yet, they centered around the reality of the life of an insomniac, a high-class pervert, and of course, and anarchist. Morris, after leaving a newly-established Black Flag with haste, partnered up with guitarist Greg Hetson, and later picked up drummer Lucky Lehrer, and bassist Roger Rogerson, and got right down to the addicting late-nights and constant touring that later led to the recording of Group Sex.

Some people see a very noticeable flaw in certain punk albums, and that is that most tracks can easily cease after about fifty-odd seconds or so. Others see it as getting the job done fast and with fashion. Like the idea or not, Group Sex to this day continues to contain 15 full minutes of the material that got them so high up there throughout the bandís later career. The album centers mostly around Morrisí vocals as well as Hetsonís solos, but those donít come so often. Morris is the very best part of the whole album and is what really stands for the Jerks in every term. Ignoring whatever anyone else may retrieve the Jerkís music as, Morris emits snotty sets of vocals by the dozens, and sometimes may turn into light screams that lead to the conclusion of another song that is without a doubt pointless but yet struck you or maybe even touched you in some way. Hetonís guitar-work follows the blatant yells that beam straight from Morris and Rogerson and for the most part saves the fancy stuff for the concluding discharge of a track. When he does play a nifty solo, it shows and adds to the overall composition of the song. Back Against The Wall, Red Tape, and World Up My Ass are fine examples of how Hetsonís material can go as far as impacting the album to a greater extent. For the most part, its simple chords induced to rapid-fire speeds and spontaneous solos for Hetson. Not much to ask for, and for the kind of album Group Sex is, that seems like itís enough to me.

Rogerson and Lucky are a strange couple indeed, but very straightforward to their material nonetheless. To supply as the bandís rhythm section, the boys engage in the kind of action the others are in, but the actual show of their extent can sometimes be invisible to the naked ear. Rogerson tosses in a line that will tread the steps of Hetsonís work, but around bridge time, when things extend to a higher level of insanity, Rogerson will start doing his own thing, enabling you to hear more of him. He doesnít exactly impact the albumís outcome, but if he wasnít there, it wouldnít have gotten as far. Lucky is one hell of a drummer. His speed is often unbeatable by most of the genreís other drummers at the time, and as far as Group Sex goes, Lucky can use simple fills an average drummer might use everyday and increase the speed dramatically to make it seem like it was a flash that struck every other high point of the song. In a nutshell, Luckyís material is nothing earth-shattering, but it makes the section of the Jerks about twice as much more worthwhile, and with Morris, creates a cloud of damage that leaves a mark until the next minute of doom approaches.

Whatís left to say. Group Sex is truly one of the definite albums that screams progression of the punk movement that would later morph around into many forms. Who knows how many artist out there now have influences ranging from the Jerks. I wouldnít consider the answer to the question to be on the low side, but thatís just me. The Jerks to me. Donít hold a lot of the aggression that could be recognizable in a lot of other ďhardcoreĒ punk bands of the time, but yet, they use their pointless lyrics and over-the-top, united musicianship to an advantage. As I canít change their label, itís still worth mentioning an opinion. The Jerks went on to use their no-excuses musical fashion later throughout the 90ís with different variations and band members. They made more albums, but none of them will ever be Group Sex. If youíve ever heard another band that consists of providing songs that range from 45 seconds to a long minute, thank the Jerks for the push they unintentionally gave artists of the future.


Circle Jerks- Group Sex-
Keith Morris- Vocals
Greg Hetson- Guitar
Roger Rogerson- Bass
Lucky Lehrer- Drums

Stand Out Tracks
I Just Want Some Skank
Behind The Door
Live Fast, Die Young
Red Tape

Superb.

4.5/5



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Med57
Moderator
November 26th 2005


1002 Comments


Cool review. I like this album...can't say it's the sort of thing I listen to a lot, but this is probably the best example of this sort of music that I know of.

Zebra
Moderator
November 26th 2005


2647 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Another very well done review, possibly your greatest yet.



I like the Circle Jerks, I used to listen to this album constantly back in the day. I remember this album having some excellent tracks like "Red Tape" and "Operation" but there are definately some weak tracks on here.

Neoteric
November 26th 2005


3243 Comments


Their name is hilarious, anyway, I haven't heard anything from this album but I remember this song on Beavis And Butthead, it was I Wanna Destroy You or something, it sounded pretty annoying :-/

Aakon_Keetreh
November 26th 2005


448 Comments


ive never listen to them before but i think ill go buy one of there albums soon

Jawaharal
November 26th 2005


1832 Comments


great review, lots of detail and good writingThis Message Edited On 11.26.05

Fabz
November 26th 2005


136 Comments


Great review, as usual

Lazybassplr56
December 27th 2005


27 Comments


Good review. An essential punk rock album for everyone's collection.

Bukowski
January 25th 2006


45 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This is an absolute classic. There are few better 80s punk albums.

Angry Balled Fists!
April 21st 2006


33 Comments


Such an amazing album, good work.

touchdown boy
June 16th 2006


3 Comments


GReat album, and an awesome band....!!too short though....

MrKite
March 16th 2009


5020 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i fuckin love world up my ass.

druglesshippie
October 1st 2009


182 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

It took me longer to read this review then it took me to listen to the album!

Funeralopolis
June 6th 2012


14159 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is pretty awesome

Spec
June 6th 2012


35529 Comments


Best band name. First time someone said "Saw Circle Jerks the other night" I was like wtf.

Satellite
June 6th 2012


25827 Comments


back against the wall > any black flag song

yeah i said it

Funeralopolis
June 6th 2012


14159 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Saw a guy at a record store wearing A Circle Jerks shirt looked band up, no regrets

Spec
June 6th 2012


35529 Comments


Ooh that's risky.

Funeralopolis
June 6th 2012


14159 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lol shirt looked awfully bandish, I love to just look up random band shirts I see or try to remember the title of a random album I find in a thrift store or something. But I have heard of the band beforehand.

Funeralopolis
October 12th 2012


14159 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Band should be more popular

Makku
February 2nd 2013


36 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

CREEPEH =)



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