Minor Threat  
First Demo Tape
/dischord; 2003/



more info:

Dischord started when The Teen Idles (Ian McKaye’s and Jeff Nelson’s first band) wanted to put their record out on their own late 1980. If this DIY move seems common now, it was bald and highly marginal at the time. Minor Threat was their next group. This cd is the first demo to Minor Threat 7’ which was to be rerecorded and released June 1981 as Dischord n°3. It’s written in the sleeve that the band might have considered the songs too slow to be released. Someone found the tape lingering on a dusty attic or basement shelf. Ian Mc Kaye and Don Zientara mixed it in December 2001 and Dischord puts it out in 2003.

Don Zientara who recorded the overwhelming majority of Dischord releases, only had a 4-track set-up at Inner Ear Studio which was, as it is specified inside the good-looking sleeve, located in the basement of his small house. The band set up and played in his kids’ playroom while he ran the 4-track tapedeck in the adjacent boiler room’. All early Dischord releases were recorded this way. Let’s mention that Henry Garfield from State of Alert - who was soon to become Henry Rollins and to play in Black Flag - was in the house during this session to shout some backing vocals.

These homogeneous 8 songs, these sharp, reckless and visceral 9 minutes do not differ much from Minor Threat which can be considered as one of the trail-blazers of genuine hardcore style. First Demo Tape will only please Minor Threat die-hard fans or people who don’t have anything by them in their discography. Its musical contents can be considered as one of the discs epitomizing the immediate and innovative (at the time) origins of hardcore. Young people armed with their legendary crosses marked on the back of their hands expressed their anger against racism, violence and alcoholism. All the song titles are evocative (‘Minor Threat’, ‘Stand up’, ‘Seeing red’, ‘Bottled Violence’ ‘Small man big mouth’ ‘Guilty of being white’ ‘I don’t want to hear it’). ‘Straight Edge’ is an infuriated and brilliant 48 seconds political manifesto.

From the beginning Dischord was intended as a no-profit maker label. It’s a cheering irony to mention that it has released the best disc considering quality-price ratio this year. Ill-intentioned people will argue that they should have released it in their 20 Years of Dischord box set but I believe in Dischord’s sincerity and think that ultimate MT fans are much happier to purchase it as a good-looking item than on a compilation.


PS: It’s questionable but in my opinion hardcore comes from DC and from san Francisco as well where a band such as Bad Religion recorded its first demos at the same time The Teen Idles, Minor Threat, The Untouchables and State of Alert did. BR’s first songs are definitely close to what DC bands did. Afterwards they moved towards punk-rock which symbolized Epitaph for a long time while Dischord moved towards emo-core. Regarding this San Francisco / DC thing it’s amusing to notice that MT’s bass player Brian Baker played in Bad Religion’s 1996 The Gray Race.

/feb 15th 2004/