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The U-Boats' Dead and Desperate EP

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The U-Boats

Dead and Desperate EP

(Crow Records)

For years, I've searched for Dead and Desperate. And the only time I ever came across a bona fide copy, I was too broke to claim it as my own when the eBay bidding surpassed the $250 mark.

Oh well ... The record is the U-Boats' follow-up to 1982 single "Government Rip-Off b/w Break Out Tonight" and it's a scorching, sloppy punk number.

Formed in the late '70s in Tampa, the U-Boats were contemporaries of Roach Motel, Hated Youth, and Maggot Sandwich. The band's sound was a messier D-beat. And its look was straight out of the New Wave British heavy metal playbook. Yup, leather and spike armbands, wispy, motorcycle-riding moustaches, and ripped jeans. No flip-flops and shorts here.

Featuring singer Mike Nelson, guitarist Jay Jetmore, bassist Alex Civiletti, and drummer Aaron Knerr, the tracks on Dead and Desperate are very much a product of their time. The A-side, "America Unemployed," exudes that great Reagan Era punk rock feeling, starting out with a slightly hopeful jingle-jangle before rapidly deteriorating into fuzzy guitars and echo-y vocals. 

The B-Side, "VFW Ball - Bad Boy" continues the fun. Of Dead and Desperate's two tracks, this is the one that most closely resembles the '80s British and Scandinavian punk. (Think Discharge and Rattus.)

Now if you insist on scoring a hard copy for your collection, good luck ... The catalogue number is CR 0003 and it was put out by Crow Records. That's all I know.

Meanwhile, thanks to the miracle of the internet and my friend Aesop Dekker's Cosmic Hearse blog, you can easily download a digital version of Dead and Desperate. Enjoy!

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