Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Circle Jerks

  • Group Sex [Frontier EP, 1980] B+
  • Wild in the Streets [Faulty Products, 1982] C+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Group Sex [Frontier EP, 1980]
Like the Angry Samoans, although not as clearly or catchily, these slammers double-time metal riffs behind the rants, yielding such indelible plaints as "Deny Everything" ("I'm being framed"), "Paid Vacation" ("It's Afghanistan!"), and "Group Sex" (sensitive reading from the personals plus screaming title chorus). If you think L.A. punk rage is laughable, here's its antithesis--laffs. B+

Wild in the Streets [Faulty Products, 1982]
Having concluded that Group Sex was one of the cutest little hardcore tantrums extant, I waited for this earsore to kick in and blamed length when it didn't. But the real reason is that boring old professional problem, material. As Tom Paxton could tell them, political commentary is no substitute for good tunes, even when your best are rarely more than three notes long. And if the whine is your natural voice you're better off complaining about teenomie anyway. C+