There's much, much worse things to be a nerd about than '80s US Hardcore! Pair a lesser known USHC archival release with a David Grubbs quote on the hype sticker, and a midwestern location, you can count on my interest. Cincinnati's Sluggo does not match the sound I had in mind. Closer to the Flex Your Head era Dischord (or pre-Dave Grohl Scream) than The Fix. Not what I expected but not disappointed!
Side A is their Contradiction EP, released in 1984, and side B is the never before released EP of the band's second incarnation about a year later. There's a few new tricks up their sleeve, future Chrome Cranks member Peter Aaron on guitar, and a riff on ‘Pull It Off' that predates ‘Pretty Fly For A White Guy' by over a decade! - Nic
Sluggo were Cincinnati’s reigning hardcore band at a time where the region was alight with bands like Malignant Growth, the Zero Boys, the Repellents, and Squirrel Bait, all waiting to dazzle the next band to come rolling through. Revisiting these recordings I remembered every riff and almost every word from the “Contradiction” EP, and felt the Xeroxed sleeve in my fingertips’ memory, gloriously. – David Grubbs
I learned in my teens that Cincinnati had a punk history. The OGs told me about "The Jockey Club" in Newport, KY, having seen all the bands that I bought LPs of. Negative Approach played there? I saw the flyer at a friend's place. It was a xerox of a xerox of a xerox. $3 cover charge. There was a local opener too: SLUGGO. I hit up all my headiest friends to find a copy of their record and someone came through with the Agitate 96 repress from 2001 that had recently come out. I wouldn't have considered a group of teenagers playing total MINOR THREAT / ZERO BOYS-styled hardcore to have come from my hometown. They were from Northern KY and stood ten steps ahead of all the other early-80s local records I had heard. The more I dug, I found flyers for gigs they played with Discharge, Necros, JFA & Dead Kennedys. Sluggo’s record still rips today, a standout of the lesser-known, early-80s hardcore EPs.
The B-side of this compilation is "Eighty Four", a never-before-released EP of the band's second incarnation. Peter Aaron, who later went on to Chrome Cranks, plays on this one, and the dual guitars of Karl and Chris take this EP in a different direction. The original name for the release was "What Happens Next?," which ILL REPUTE subsequently beat them to the punch on... "Eighty Four" was baked & transferred at Steve Albini's Electrical Audio in Chicago in 2020 and mastered by Michael Hagler in 2021. Finally, after 37 years... The record is ready to be heard.
These two releases made by teenagers nearly 40 years ago get better and better with age. I can't speak enough to how proud I am to say we are making these available to the world. Having the opportunity to re-release this EP along with the never-before-released "Eighty-Four" EP has been a dream of Dan’s & mine since we started working together. - Alex York