Editors' pick

The Left


Editorial Review

You might have heard of the Left had they been from Detroit, New York, Melbourne ... basically anywhere but Hagerstown, Md., which is where the punk quartet did most of its damage back in the '80s. The band's limited studio output was compiled a couple of years ago on "Jesus Loves the Left: The Complete Studio Recordings" and it showcases a band that could match up to anyone when it came to snarling, driving garage rock. There was nothing fancy about the band's songs, but listening to them now they still sound relevant and real, thanks to those timeless themes of anger and alienation. Which were no doubt enhanced by being in a punk band in Hagerstown. "There's no reason to continue trying/Life's so [expletive] boring, man/Let's try dying," go the lyrics on "Teenage Suicide." Like every band that ever broke up, the Left is giving it another go, but you don't have to question the members' motives. It's not like there's much glory in a reunion show at the Velvet Lounge. They're just in it for the rock.

--David Malitz (Nov. 2008)