Although I own several thousand albums, singles, EPs, novels, articles, biographies, movies, TV shows, cartoons, and such in every format of physical media imaginable, I ain't never considered myself much of a collector. The message is the most important part, not the medium. "Collectors" are weird people, and record collectors are the most odious of the lot. Paying $50+ dollars for an crackly, scratched-up original pressing of the first Velvet Underground album with an unpeeled banana is MADNESS, especially when you can get an almost-exact replica on immaculate-sounding 180 gram vinyl at a fraction of the cost. I peeled the banana on my VU CD box set and lost it like 15 years ago, but I still listen to its contents all the damn time, and don't feel like it's diminished the experience at all.
The Killed By Death collector-scum craze is by far the worst symptom of the record collector disease. In fact, compilations like Killed By Death and Back From The Grave were made in the early 80s so people didn't HAVE to shell out hundreds of dollars on shitty, flimsy pressings of obscure punk rock released on fly-by-night labels just to hear the music. Absolutely EVERYTHING is digitized and readily available these days, and if you downloaded a new album for free today and disliked it, think about the poor sap who shelled out $150 for Cold Cock's "I Wanna Be Rich" 45 only to find out it was a heaping pile of shit. If I spent that much money on a record, I certainly wouldn't do anything as damaging as taking it out of the sleeve and listening to it, so it totally defeats the purpose of its existence, right?!
So yeah, it's awesome to see the stellar Windian label out of Washington DC reissue the debut 7" from Syracuse's self-styled "Kings Of Basement Rock" The Penetrators, since it was released on their own Fred Records label back in 1979, original copies are presumably as rare as potato chips shaped like Abraham Lincoln, and rock n' roll records made by in the basement by two ugly dudes in Chuck Taylors are way more en vogue now than they were 32 years ago. Spike Kagan and Jack Lipton, the Penetrator Two, make nerdy record-collector kid rock much like Mark Sultan and Ty Segall do now, weaving bits and pieces of a thousand influences into short bits of transcendent, punky fury. A side "Gotta Have Her" sounds like a track from a lost 60s frat-rock live album, complete with a goofy band introduction, and you wouldn't know the difference if the riff from "Raw Power" wasn't repeated a few times during the verses. On the flip, "Baby Dontcha Tell Me" explodes with an exact replica of Stones/Sonics sexual frustration in Vietnam war-time America, and sports some guitar work that sounds incredibly impressive if it really did come from two dudes in a basement hopped up on Genesee Cream Ale and shitty weed.
Sure, Swami Records released a CD back in 2006 that collects these two tracks with everything else the original Penetrators recorded, but that particular disc is out of print now, and who the hell really buys CDs anymore?! Why pay $15.99 plus tax for a flimsy compilation CD when you can get the two songs you really want in an exact replica of the original release in a superior format? Windian plans on releasing the Penetrators' classic follow-up single "Teenage Lifestyle" next, so get that one and this one and the next one, and complete the set. You might be able to spend money on something else, like bills for a change. Perish the thought.