Thursday, July 12, 2012

Husker Du - "Land Speed Record" (LP Review)

17 songs in less than 27 minutes.  A live, 2-track recording from 1981.  A recording budget ($350) only slightly larger than the capacity of the venue (250 people) where it was recorded.  The seventh release on an independent label.  Song titles like "Guns At My School" and "Tired of Doing Things".  A vaguely political statement for the cover art.  If you don't already know what this sounds like, you haven't been paying attention. 

Released in early 1982, "Land Speed Record" is Husker Du's first LP, and that alone makes it of interest especially since only two of these songs would later be recorded in the studio ("Bricklayer" and "Let's Go Die").  But let's be honest: while the songs are ferocious, the poor recording quality makes them nearly unlistenable.  I'm sure it was a great show to be at, but this is the kind of recording that people claim to love so they can be "very metal". 

I have the SST posthumously re-released 1988 CD version (the band broke up in 1987), which SST did not bother to even segment into separate tracks: just part one and part two.  I love Husker Du and I'm glad I have this CD, but it honestly looks better on the shelf than it sounds coming through the speakers. 

Songs: part one, part two

Final Score: 5/10.   If you want to explore their early catalog (i.e., pre-"Zen Arcade"), it is better to stick with "Everything Falls Apart" or "Metal Circus".

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