Kidd Spike was a guitarist with one of L.A.'s first punk rock outfits, the Controllers, but by 1980 he was eager to do something a little more eclectic, and he joined forces with vocalist Axxel G. Reese to form the Gears. The Gears enthusiastically embraced the fast and loud part of punk, but they also threw in dashes of surf music, garage rock, blues, and cool sounds of the '50s, and their first album, ROCKIN' AT GROUND ZERO, is a killer blend of punk speed and fury tempered with greaser cool. The rise of hardcore made bands like the Gears seem obsolete at the dawn of the '80s, but history and this album prove these guys truly had the goods. Hepcat Records' 2009 reissue of ROCKIN' AT GROUND ZERO is a remastered edition with eight bonus tracks. Three tunes come from the Gears' debut 45, and while "Let's Go to the Beach" and "Don't Be Afraid to Pogo" were re-recorded for the album, the early versions are just different enough to satisfy completists. And a recently rediscovered 1979 demo tape is the source of another five tracks. The sound quality is rough, and the performances are a bit less precise, but the energy is there along with the otherwise unavailable "Girl Crazy." Fans of old-school punk will find lots to like on this new edition of ROCKIN' AT GROUND ZERO, and the previously unreleased demos might be enough to convince diehards to replace their old copies of the album.
Release Date: 28 February 2010