SSD – The Kids Will Have Their Say LP (Trust)

There are few records that carry the same weight of legacy, or possess the same legandary scene status as The Kids Will Have Their Say, and even forty years after it was first released, it’s still a focused, raw, brutal debut bursting with energy and righteous fury. SSD might not have existed for long enough to see the fruits of their labours inspire a legion of bands to pick up the baton they laid down, and follow in their wake, but I’m pretty sure that Al, Springa, Jamie and Chris don’t have any regrets about Society System Decontrol. Nor should they, as this album, now remastered and finally re-released in a jaw dropping package by Trust Records, is just about perfect.

Whether it’s blazing away in a whirlwind of fast and furious power, or laying down the beatdown blueprint that thousands of other bands have tried to copy, but never managed to do as well as SSD did. The Kids… doesn’t linger and doesn’t outstay it’s welcome. It just lays down a savage set of glorious Boston Hardcore, flips a middle finger at it’s audience, takes a well earned bow, exists stage left and it’s gone. This isn’t a record that you want, it’s a record that you NEED, but don’t dilly dally and don’t waste any time twiddling your fingers and ummining and ahhing, because this reissue is selling faster than SSD blasting through Boiling Point. Just buy the damn thing already, you know you want to… Tim Cundle

Where to start with this – the ultimate Boston straight-edge hardcore album? To put it simply, SSD did for Boston what Minor Threat did for Washington DC. They pioneered a musical and philosophical movement that gathered pace and followers until now it is rightfully recognised as being one of the foundations of the genre.

This album also has parallels to Agnostic Front’s Victim In Pain record. It feels so raw, with guitars barely in tune and amps struggling to contain the rage as SSD pound their way through the 18 songs on here – of which 9 of them are under a minute long. Although it has been bootlegged and songs were included on that bizarre Power anthology that Taang! records put together, I doubt that all that many people have been exposed to this full album, which is incredible considering how much of an impact SSD had on the formative hardcore scene. For anyone with any interest in the early hardcore sounds, this is absolutely essential. How much art, can you take? There’s only one way to find out… Tom Chapman

Long out of print and as rare as Unicorn Milk (a copy of one of the original 1900 run will set you back around £2500), SSD’s 1982 classic finally sees the light of day and to say I’m stoked is rather an understatement. The first SSD song I heard was Ripcords’ blistering cover of TKWHTS’ opening track Boiling Point on the Manic Ears compilation The North Atlantic Noise Attack, It quickly became my favourite song on the comp and I desperately wanted to track down the original; but in those pre-internet days and being a HC newbie with no contacts, this became something of a holy grail scenario. It was a few years later that I picked up a copied cassette version of the album (long worn out) and SSD became one of my favourite USHC bands. 

Cut to 2023 and Trust Records, in collaboration with SSD’s founding member Al Barile, have released this remastered version of the TKWHTS complete with Bryan Ray Turcotte’s faithful recreation of Philin Phlash’s iconic cover photo. The sheer ferocity of this release is undeniable, from the aforementioned Boiling Point through to closer The End, with nary a dud track in between. Taking their cue and ethos from Minor Threat and then upping the ante on speed, energy and uncompromising attitude, SSD and in particular Al Barile, were key in the establishment of the Boston scene, and became one of the most globally influential bands from the early 80s HC scene, both in musical terms and the establishment of the Straight Edge.

An absolutely essential release – but move fast because the multiple coloured versions of this are selling fast. For the complete SSD experience pick up the photo/essay book SSD: How Much Art Can You Take featuring photos by Philin Phlash and interviews by professor Nancy Barile, author of the acclaimed I’m Not Holding Your Coat: My Bruises-and-All Memoir of Punk Rock Rebellion. Ian Pickens

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