John Dougan

Under Appreciated

Tensions in the band led to their break-up by mid-1979, before they were able to release a proper album.  Avengers, released in 1983 is a tough find these days; but Penelope Houston has it available as a CD-R on her website, and I managed to find a copy in an Atlanta-area record store this year.  John Dougan writes in the Allmusic review:   “Although it was released in 1983, this collection represents just about everything San Francisco’s late, great Avengers recorded from 1977-1978.  By contemporary standards, it’s by-the-book punk thrash:  Greg Ingraham’s guitar spews up hairball after hairball of distortion, while Penelope Houston snarls in her best impression of Johnny Rotten.  However, contemporary standards diminish what great music this was and what a great band they were.  Dozens of bands came in their wake, but few could recapture the excitement and ferocity of their sound.  Houston, who re-emerged years later as a folk-rocker, is in full fury on these 14 tracks, especially the youth culture solidarity anthem ‘We Are the One’ and the tale of desperation ‘Thin White Line’.  A few spins of this and you’ll hear how the Avengers influenced everyone from Black Flag to X.  Yes, they were that good.  A forgotten classic.” 
(March 2017)
Last edited: March 22, 2021