Minutemen - Double Nickels on the Dime (1984), 9/10

Every time Double Nickels on the Dime falls off my radar and I give it a visit, it comes right back into my good graces. D Boon and Mike Watt have a charismatic energy that cuts right through the speakers into your heart with no filler, even George's drums come through with a certain charm, perhaps from his raw playing style, as does his "George" portion of the record. The exemplary "Shit From an Old Notebook" speaks to the angst and performance style contained within if you'd like a teaser track, unhinged guitar solo included, while "Maybe Partying Will Help" showcases the troubled side of the record and its wordplay. The lyrics are as punchy as ever, rivaling some of the best in punk, and even in recorded music in general. The combination of their humor and endless wit with the band's blistering punk ethos and sound, along with its very atypical length, make Double Nickels on the Dime a special project. Side note, while I've always enjoyed "Corona" musically, the flashbacks it gives me to Jackass are unavoidable, not at the fault of the band but seemingly add to the humor and its narrative. I usually find it bothersome when a group has so much to say and does so in such a blunt, on the nose fashion, without any compromise whatsoever, but this whole record is the massive exception to that rule, mostly stemming from their individual magnetism and exceptionally personal delivery, along with the surprisingly always effective humor spread across the whole album. This is extended into the instrumental performances, especially when harmonized with D Boon's sharp, piercing and unfettered guitar solos and backed by the ever-strong and tight rhythm section that they are known for. That mixed with an altogether different and surprisingly modern approach to punk and noise made Minutemen a special group, and this is clearly their strongest single piece of work. The experimentation is just the icing on an already whole and matured cake. It all blends together and supplements the thematic messaging fluidly, and the album is perfectly stitched together to maximize its effect. It is perhaps stronger in its first half while the Chaff side is a bit lacking in comparison, but it is consistent enough to carry through as a revolutionary punk album all things considered. There are endless surprising moments, even for such a unique band as this, and the tracks that catch your attention are not just effective in sound but introspective and philosophical to back it up, resulting in songs that have staying power and hold importance as progression for the genre beyond their individual strength. Even all of its importance aside, with a forty five song track list you would expect some ebbing in quality or punchiness, but it simply never comes. Minutemen deliver their trademark sound at its absolute peak for an entire four side record. One of the most historically important and joyously experimental punk albums recorded. "Our band could be your life” indeed.