compiles Minor Threat
's entire body of recordings on a single compact disc. Hardcore, as a rule, wasn't particularly musically diverse, but Minor Threat
were one of the genre's groundbreaking acts and their music has held up better than most of their contemporaries. As the de facto leaders of the Washington, D.C., hardcore scene, the band pioneered the straight-edge mentality by emphasizing impossibly fast tempos, brief songs, political lyrics, and a drug- and alcohol-free lifestyle. Besides setting the precedent for several generations of punk rockers with their music and ideals, Minor Threat
were simply a better band than most hardcore groups. They had a tight, distinctive sound that wasn't as heavy as their Californian counterparts and, therefore, were often more bracing and effective. Although some of the music on Complete Discography
, like much of hardcore in general, hasn't aged particularly well -- with its cheap production, rigid song structures, and political concerns, it is very much a piece of the early '80s -- the sound remains invigorating; the band possessed a visceral energy matched by only a handful of their peers. Complete Discography
, in fact, is not only one of the cornerstones of any hardcore collection, it's not a bad way to become acquainted with hardcore.