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DYS (Buy CDs by this artist)
Wolfpack (Taang!) 1983
DYS (Taang!) 1984

Although probably better known for his stints in Washington DC's Dag Nasty and California's All, Dave Smalley began his career in Boston, with a hardcore band ironically named for the city's Department of Youth Services. On Wolfpack, as DYS expounds the judgmentally self-righteous straight-edge ethos (no drugs, no drink) that became popular in both Boston and DC, Smalley comes off as an admirable idealist and a terrible singer. Though the debut could simply be tagged and shelved as a chunk of tolerable hardcore, it does contain some bright spots, most notably "Escape," a metalized dirge with heavily delayed vocals. The album also displays a sense of humor — not a common straight-edge commodity — in an ad-libbed cover of "Ironman" and a pair of parodies ("Dirty Dog" and "Rub a Dub").

Satire seemed to suit the band, and DYS is pure metal mockery. (Or is it?) Either a good joke badly executed or a bad idea through and through, the record has a real scary cover and appropriately styled vocals. Funny or not, it just isn't any good.

[Ian McCaleb]
   See also Dag Nasty