Y is for Youth Brigade

Youth BrigadeWhen I was in high school there were a lot of great punk rock bands out of the LA area. One of those bands I loved back then and still enjoy listening to today is Youth Brigade. The band was a trio of brothers, Shawn (guitar and vocals), Mark (drums) and Adam (bass) Stern. The brothers were born and raised in Toronto, Canada before moving to Los Angeles in 1970.

There was a strong surge of punk rock in the early eighties that had a positive message to it and the straight edge movement was a big part of that. Youth Brigade did not subscribe to the straight edge philosophy. During the movie/documentary “Another State of Mind” Youth Brigade filmed during its 1982 summer tour with Social Distortion the band spent some time at the Dischord House in Washington, D.C. I can remember Shawn Stern making a comment about straight edge, something to the effect that he did not agree with everything the movement stood for but did respect it. However, the band’s philosophy was very similar in one respect; they promoted punk rock and the kids that listened to the music in a positive light.

That message shines though in the band’s 1983 debut Sound and Fury. The album was originally released in 1982 but just a limited number of copies were actually pressed because the trio was not happy with the end result. All but one of the tracks from the original 1982 pressing of Sound and Fury are a part of the 1998 release Out of Print.

There has been a lot of debate in the punk community over the years over which version of Sound and Fury is better. I always preferred the 1983 version that leads off with “Sink With California”. I consider the album to be an absolute must for any hardcore punk collection, 14 tracks of mostly melodic, occasional thrash punk rock that inspires you to sing along. I still do so anytime I play the disc.

The video is the clip from “Another State of Mind” when the discussion is about slam dancing. The song played is “Violence” from the ’82 pressing of Sound and Fury. A notice for all you posers – it was called “slam dancing” back in the day, not moshing. And I don’t ever recall it being referred to as a “mosh pit”. Just a pit folks. Ask anyone from the Sunnyslope Crew if you’re confused.


Album Inspiration: Sound and Fury


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