Boston cranked up its loudest hardcore bellow in the early ’80s with the likes of Gang Green, SS Decontrol, the F.U.’s and Jerry’s Kids, one of the early pioneers of metal-meets-hardcore thrash. The Kids pummel with spearing guitars, grinding rhythms and hammering vocals.
Jerry’s Kids first made their presence known in the seven minutes it took them to blast out six songs on the This Is Boston Not L.A. scene compilation. With shrieks of “help me!” and “let me out!,” “Desperate” simulates a shackled soul struggling to break free, while “Pressure” slows and speeds to searing effect.
With guitarist Chris Doherty of the temporarily defunct Gang Green in the lineup (Kids drummer Brian Betzger joined Gang Green when Doherty restarted it), bassist Rick Jones replaced his brother Bryan on vocals for Is This My World, which reveals more complexity and packs more impact than the first set. (Their parents reportedly forbid Bryan to perform live after he broke his leg at a gig.) The virulent intensity of songs like “Cracks in the Wall,” “No Time,” “Lost” and “Is This My World” makes the album a hardcore classic.
After a couple of years off, a revised Jerry’s Kids (still fronted by Rick Jones and guitarist Bob Cenci) returned in 1986, but didn’t release anything new for several years. The new Kids harness some of the original blurring speed on solid crunchers like “Fire,” “Bad Trip” and “Back Off,” but there’s a weightier demi-metal bottom to most of Kill Kill Kill. While the LP generally delivers tight, driving mature rock power, “Breathe and Fuck” trudges in relatively lead boots. Meanwhile, the pulsing “Satan’s Toy” summons up a religious demon or two with subliminal speech and an evangelical preacher. (The CD includes both albums.)