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Litmus Green

Straight out of Santa Ana, California, Litmus Green have spent the '90s playing cut-to-the-chase punk with an overt far-left political agenda. This style of punk isn't as common as it was in the post-Watergate and Reagan years, so it's good to hear old school punk rock that's this confrontationally radical. Litmus Green is rousing in the manner of great political punk like the Dead Kennedys. It's because their anger is so direct and so focused on countering media and government oppression of ordinary people. Their songs are filled with emphatic pro-choice messages (with lines like "Fuck you Operation Rescue") and equally emphatic anti-Clinton messages ("Bill's on TV again/Shoot the fucker now!"), and are suffused with righteous indignation about the way ordinary folks' personal rights and private lives are trampled beneath the feet of wealthy people waging political battles. All this rhetoric comes through in tough two-minute buzzsaw explosions of that famous Germs-influenced L.A. punk sound. Litmus Green have been around for nearly a decade now, and have released a number of seven-inches, comps, and full-lengths, but only their 1998 release, It Must Suck to Be You, is still in print. The featured song from that album, "Born to Die," is a great pro-choice society-hating lament and a scathing expression of self-loathing that's about as punk rock as it gets. As they put it themselves, Litmus Green are punks who play music, not musicians who play punk.

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