TEACHING YOU THE FEAR LP
Label: CIA Records
Cat. #: CIA 006
Released: 1981

1. Too Political?
2. Bored With Apathy
3. The Fee
4. Teaching You the Fear
5. Decay
6. Run 'Em Out
7. No Art
8. Bar-B-Que
9. White Lies
10. Nico
11. Starvation Dance
12. Prostitution
13. Aim Tastes Good
14. Entertainment
15. Pigboy
16. Ain't No Time
17. Lockjaw
18. Reminder

LYRICS
Yet another underappreciated Tex-ass band, Really Red's first LP is utterly mind blowing from start to finish. Their songs follow no convention, boiling in the same musical melting pot where the Minutemen and early Wire swam. The vocals often call to mind D. Boon, who also could convey fierce emotion whether he was singing or shouting, joking or railing. The music, jerky and disjointed but also almost infectiously danceable, also follows the Minutemen formula of jangly guitar, heavy-bottomed bass, and expressive drumming. Almost every song is a highlight here, with anthems like "Too Political?" and "Run 'Em Out" providing ample shout-along lines. The title track, with its menacingly anxious bass line and shakily spoken lyrics "Take one chicano with his hands cuffed behind his back..." is one of the most haunting political punk songs ever written. When it explodes into the chorus and Ronnie spits out "Teaching you the feeee-aaaar!" it really is a revelation. Likewise, the song "Starvation Dance" drives its point home not through the grotesque, graphic descriptions of third world misery in each verse, but during the maddening, idiotic chant of "Dance, dance, dance, dance, dance, dance, dance to starvation" sung over the catchy, upbeat chorus. My favorite tune is the more ambiguous "Aim Tastes Good," which calls to mind the fragmentary poetry of the first Gang of Four and Proletariat records. Another link between all the bands Iíve mentioned is that Really Red are goddamned smart. Intelligence is what holds this record together through political rants, strange episodic hardcore tunes, and an ode to Nico that seems to be dead serious. This is what pop music will sound like after the revolution.
-JT



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