PunkRockBeat.com – 80s Punk Rock Treasure “Outta East L.A.” from The Brat
In the 80s, while synthpop artists wrestled with issues of heartache and love gone wrong, the responsibility of tackling social issues fell in large part to the punk rock movement. One such band were East L.A.’s The Brat, who despite growing popularity and opening for acts like REM and X, disbanded before releasing a full length LP.
Fortunately, for fans of good music, the August 18 release of “Straight Outta East L.A.” on RockBeat Records brings to light a treasure trove of previously unreleased tunes by the talented quintet. Included on the 21 song set are all the tunes from their debut EP “Attitudes” and 16 recordings for the intended major label debut that never happened.
The recording and production here is top notch. Lore has it that remastering these tunes has been an ongoing project for guitarist Rudy Medina, even including the addition of new instrument tracks. The quality of the original tracks, including vocals by Teresa Covarrubias is so well preserved that the resulting new production is flawless.
So why did The Brat disband just as they began to show such promise? Perhaps major labels were unsure if the politically charged themes of their later material had commercial value. Certainly the sound was no concern; even from the beginning and the “Attitudes” EP with its themes of post adolescent romance and friendship, The Brat’s sound was radio ready.
When writing their follow up, the band’s social awareness came to the fore, in some cases addressing the historical injustices against Native American people, and about the experiences of Mexican American people.
From “The Wolf”
The star spangled wolf comes side to side
This land was made for all
So hard to grasp the logic, coming from its rabid paw
You say it’s democracy, believes in our equality,
You lied. The wolf and the lamb, the wolf and the lamb,
We are the lamb.
From “Slaughter of An Ancient Tribe”
Brown feathered warriors share a kinship with the land
Across the raging ocean lives the civilized of man
Setting sail to pass beyond the new horizon line
Sturdy sailing soldiers only conquest on their mind
Slay them, betray them, rob them, harm them, shoot them, pollute them
The disc is well worth owning and listening to, as part of Los Angeles’ music history and the Chicano experience, or simply because it’s great punk pop music. “Straight Outta East L.A.” is available as a CD, as a Mp3 download, and in Vinyl as well.