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The Yah Mos

If you want to know where all those crazy kids from California's capital got their badass moves, look no further than The Yah Mos. Featuring future members of !!! and Out Hud, the Yah Mos were the hardcore punk equivalent of a slobbering Great Dane: endearing, sloppy, and surprisingly powerful. Their energetic two-minute bursts of flanging sound sometimes felt like they were held together with bubblegum and safety pins, but they never lacked for energy and good humor. And however loose the Yah Mos' songs were, the power chords were invariably vicious and rousing, the backbeat thumping and filthy, and the stream-of-consciousness ranting satisfyingly over the top. Legend has it that these boys put on one of the most manic and alarming live shows the Golden State has ever seen. Little was left to document the legacy of this important band until 2001, when the good folks at Gern Blandsten took it upon themselves to issue Undefeated, a 12-track album compiling the Yah Mos' mid-'90s recordings. Underneath the mouth-frothing punk, you might hear just a hint of the cathartic funk that would come to define the group members' later involvements.

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