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Germ Free Adolescents

Honor Dishonor (Germ Free Adolescents)

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From 1987 to 1991, the Germ Free Adolescents slunk from Kent to Cleveland like the undead bastard children of the Cure and A Flock of Seagulls. Borrowing the band's title from an X-Ray Spex album, a rotating lineup of gloomy guys adopted names like Dave Despair and Stic Catholic and played gothy post-punk for local Bauhaus fans who needed something to dance to on the weekends. The spider-hair lads even made it as far as CBGB's before realizing they were a few years late and several bucks short (as evidenced in this retrospective's no-fi production).

On cuts like "Stitches," the band drenches songs in washed-out guitars while setting their keyboards to creepy-crawl. If you were on the scene, the disc might make a nice souvenir. If you weren't, it just sounds tinny and derivative. Thank the powers of darkness that Trent Reznor and Pro Tools came along.

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