When I wrote about Fugazi and their album Repeater, I said the band and “Ian MacKaye, are discussed with such admiration and reverence, that the thought of being a punk fan and not already knowing everything about them is embarrassing”.
If you want even more admiration and reverence, you just need to go back in time to McKaye’s pre Fugazi outfit, Minor Threat. Which is exactly what I did when I listened to First Two 7s.
The band who would coin the phrase and start the movement of Straight Edge, Minor Threat’s place in in punk rock history is more than assured. But immediately, the music backs up that the assured place. This is fast, this is urgent, this is the kind of music that can barely be contained long enough for a band to get it down on tape.
Another way to articulate that, would be to point out the First Two 7s is 12 tracks of punk rock energy that clocks in at 15 minutes.
To say much more about this album would be to its detriment. Along with fellow Washington DC hard core legends Black Flag, this is the sound of punk rock being reinvented in the early 80s in a way that has informed the genre ever since.
Ian MacKaye would go on to found Fugazi, Brian Baker would go one to spend the next 20 plus years with Bad Religion, and punk rock would never be the same. That’s a pretty cool legacy.