Germs were a hardcore band that were probably best known (at least to those outside the punk scene) from their infamous appearance on The Decline of Western Civilization. In that documentary (covering the LA punk scene in the late 1970s), Germs turn in a couple of a frankly embarrassing (though, undeniably riveting) performances:
Based on the train wreck in that film, I wrote them off for years (did a similar thing with W.A.S.P. and Decline of Western Civilization 2) until I randomly came across their (only) album GI on YouTube. Imagine my shock to discover that Germs were some seriously next level stuff, and that song Manimal was a real ripper:
That dark riff that opens the song is positively classy before blasting into the song proper. Alternating between fast and faster sections, the song skitters through its short run time, barely in control, but laser-focused with regards to the pure unfiltered punk ambience.
Vocalist Darby Crash actually sounds fantastic here (finally having learned how to sing into the microphone), his delivery a weird as shit demented growl that I haven’t heard anywhere else–aside from maybe Attila’s brilliant vocals on Mayhem’s DMDS, which are actually pretty similar:
Soon after the release of GI, Darby committed suicide and Germs were over. However, in their short time as a band, much like Mayhem, they were able to will together one hell of an album that will stand the test of time to anyone that happens to give it a listen.
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