Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Ergs: one final collection!

So I promised that my review of Goddamn Death Dedication would not be my last-ever post on The Ergs. While it was incredibly satisfying to hear the band bow out on such a high note, the New Jersey trio has also left behind one final treat for fans. "Okay, Enough Reminiscing" is the sequel to the band's compilation Hindsight is 20/20, My Friend -  and it collects all of the singles the band released after Volume 1 came out along with some rarities and unreleased gems. It's a digital-only release available from The Ergs' Bandcamp, and it's affordably priced for just $5. You get 22 songs in all - including a few that have never seen the light of day before. I suppose that one could argue that this release is for fans only. But, you know, that's the whole point! The fact that The Ergs have managed to release two full compilation albums inspired by one of the greatest motion pictures of all-time, Dirty Work, only adds to their considerable legacy. Contained here you'll find tracks from the band's That's It ...Bye and Thrash Compactor EPs along with the songs from splits with The Measure [sa] and Teenage Bottlerocket, covers of the likes of Parasites & Sicko, and even a couple of live tracks. The song selection was carefully thought over by the band, and it's clear that The Ergs' recorded output fully merited a second singles collection. This is all quality stuff, and a number of these songs belong in every fan's collection. "Anthem for a New Amanda", in my humble opinion, is up there with the best of the Ergs 7" cuts. "Encyclopedia Self-Destructica" is the closest the band came to writing its own "Answering Machine" or "Within Your Reach". "Johnny Rzeznik Needs His Ass Kicked" ought to air as a public service announcement on TV and radio. And The Hunchback cover "Last Man On Earth" might be the most essential track on the entire compilation.

So it seems that the releases of "Okay, Enough Reminiscing" and Goddamn Death Dedication fully close the book on The Ergs. If so, what a book it was! This was, at least, the greatest pop-punk band of its time. And how can you not love a band that records a thrash EP just for the fun of it and introduces a ZZ Top cover as "proto pop-punk"? The incredible response to the trio's brief reunion this year shows that this was not a band that would be quickly forgotten. And damn straight, the music holds up! Those unfamiliar with The Ergs would be well-advised to start with Volume 1 of the Hindsight series or 2004's brilliant LP Dorkrockcorkrod. And if you're a confirmed fan, OK, Enough Reminiscing is the best possible way for you to spend five bucks. Download comes with PDF liner notes which tell the stories behind the songs. I choose to imagine that Artie Lange owns this comp and listens to it often.


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