Boston’s F.U.’s didn’t have a lot to say musically — as hardcore bands of their early ’80s era go, they played punk better than your average slammers but thoroughly within the confines the genre. Their lyrics, however, were a different story. Notwithstanding some dumbo numbers on the quartet’s third album, Do We Really Want to Hurt You?, guitarist Steve Grimes waxes verbose and semi-eloquent on “Rock the Nation” (defending punk-band life), “Young, Fast Iranians” (decrying religious fanaticism) and the title track (critiquing pop fads).
Adding lead guitarist Steve Martin to the lineup, the F.U.’s took a metal turn and became the Straw Dogs, releasing a strong five-song debut (containing a remake of “Young, Fast Iranians” as well as a blistering version of Queen’s “Tie Your Mother Down”) one day before 17-year-old drummer Chris “Bones” Jones died in a car crash.
As it happened, Jones had finished the basic tracks for an album, which was released as We Are Not Amused and dedicated to his memory. Leaning harder toward metal, the Straw Dogs drop the offbeat lyrics for banalities like “Under the Hammer” and “Carnival in Hell,” punctuating the well-produced riff-rockers with speedy guitar solos.
There have since been at least three other acts who have since released records as the Straw Dogs, including a late-’90s British punk band, a ’90s French group and a 21st century American folk duo.