K is for Kraut

KrautI am sometimes amazed at the number of punk rock bands that were around when I was a kid, disbanded for years then came back together to deliver their music to a brand new generation. The history of New York City’s Kraut is rather unique since the band came together right at the time that The Clash were scheduled to play in the city June 1981. How many bands can proclaim the first gig they ever played was opening for one of the most important rock and roll bands of the 20th century?

Luckily the band did not stop there. Kraut released a couple of singles and were in the process of recording their debut album An Adjustment to Society when they opened for The Professionals in Boston. That band featured former Sex Pistol Steve Jones on guitar and he became friends with Kraut, eventually making a guest appearance on the tracks “Kill for Cash”, “Sell Out” and “Onward”. All three songs appeared on An Adjustment to Society.

NYC hardcore tended to have more of a rough edge in my opinion than punk rock from Washington, D.C., Orange County, Minneapolis, Phoenix and other scenes from around the country. Kraut’s sound changed a bit over time, moving away from the in-your-face punk rock on early recordings to hard rock and metal toward the end of their career. 1984’s Whetting the Scythe had some good moments but overall for me did not have the same magic as the band’s debut.

The label New Red Archives released Complete Studio Recordings 1981-1986 in 2002, an essential disc if you are looking for all the band’s material from both albums. The first track from An Adjustment to Society was entitled “All Twisted” and Kraut recorded a video for the song. It became the first video from a punk rock band to be played on MTV. Check it out.


Album Inspiration: An Adjustment to Society


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