One of Boston’s primary punk bands, DMZ was led by the maniacal Mono Mann (aka Jeff Conolly, later of the Lyres), an organist/singer whose ’60s roots (garage punk and psychedelia) and Iggy Pop fixation formed the basis for the group’s influential stylings. Their first album, produced by Flo and Eddie, has bad sound, sloppy playing and little character, despite the raveup playing and general enthusiasm.
On the other hand, Relics — released four years after being recorded on a 4-track by Craig Leon — has the intensity and cutting sonic attack to effectively re-create the weird sounds of Mann’s idols. Anyone that can do justice to a Roky Erickson number (as in the 13th Floor Elevators’ “You’re Gonna Miss Me”) is alright by me. Four of Relics‘ cuts first appeared on the cool 1977 7-inch; the other five had not previously been released.
The two 1986 releases — recorded at a single June 1978 club date — document the DMZ concert experience. One is a full-length LP; the other is a supplementary (no overlap) four-track 7-inch that covers both the Chocolate Watch Band and the Beatles.