Punk music, at its most effective, its most important, exists at a nexus of a few simple but important ideas. Punk needs to be youthful, it needs to be reactionary, it needs to be short-lived and it needs to be controversial.
So for a group of twenty-something Australians, excitable as the frontline first wave of kids responding to both the Ramones and the Sex Pistols (yet still influenced by the New York Dolls and Stooges and Flamin’ Groovies), who existed for but barely for a year from 1977-1978 and wrote songs about serial killers, high school girls and hating disco…well, I’d argue they are the most perfect punk band ever.
The band was Dave Flick (aka Dave Faulkner later of the Hoodoo Gurus) on guitar and vocals, Rudolph V (Dave Cardwell) on bass and James Baker on drums. Best known for their classic “Television Addict”, that song is but the tip of the iceberg of the band’s powers. Having self-released two godhead 7-inches during their brief existence, the seven songs on those singles are absolute cannon at this point. Quintessential, pure, unfuckwithable.
Of particular note is the blast beat, proto-hardcore velocity of “Perth Is A Culture Shock” an ode to the band’s isolated hometown, unreleased at the time, which presages the vibes that would emanate from Black Flag, Minor Threat and Negative Approach in just a few years.
And all that is just side one of the LP.
Side two contains a bounty of unreleased-for-decades demos of nine otherwise undocumented Victims originals. Demos in name alone, these properly recorded songs brim with all the identifying marks of the known Victims classics…irreverence, taking the piss, murderers and an invigorating youthful attitude.
The sheer perfection of songs like “Horror Smash” and “I Wanna Be With You” only further cements how essential the Victims were…that even their outtakes are A+ prime material.
The last thing to remember about punk as a theory, an aesthetic, is that its "ideas" are all bullshit anyway. That’s easily proved by the 7” EP released alongside this release of new recordings of “Charlie”, “Horror Smash”, “I Wanna Be With You” and “Everynite” which proves that the Victims now (featuring Ray Ahn from the Hard-Ons on bass), some 40 years after their heyday, could still easily take on any au courant band half their age