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ZERO BOYS (Buy CDs by this artist)
Vicious Circle (Nimrod) 1982 (Toxic Shock) 1988 (Lookout/Panic Button) 2000 (Secretly Canadian) 2009
Make It Stop (Bitzcore) 1996
History Of (Secretly Canadian) 2009
Who Do You Want It To Be? (Toxic Shock) 1990

Vicious Circle is another example of how US hardcore seemed to peak coast-to-coast in '82. With attention focused on the well-established scenes, however, who would have expected an album this loaded with intensity, zeal, smarts, hooks and chops to come from Indianapolis? The young quartet is surprisingly tight, and recording quality is impeccable, zooming past like an amplified dragster. "Civilization's Dying" (with commentary on the then-recent shootings of John Lennon, Ronald Reagan and the Pope), "Dirty Alleys/Dirty Minds" and "Hightime" all zip by fast and hard (yet crystal clear), while others like "New Generation" and "Livin' in the 80's" are real "My Generation" calls to arms.

The Zero Boys petered out, reuniting from time to time to tour but not doing any further recording. Two members joined Toxic Reasons; singer/guitarist Paul Mahern emerged recently with another sharp hand, the power-poppy Datura Seeds. Recorded as a quartet, Who Do You Want It to Be? is a diverse and substantial LP with impressively tuneful songs and spunky delivery.

The Toxic Shock reissue of Vicious Circle has six bonus cuts tacked on (and this is vinyl!), including three from The Master Tape, Vol 1 compilation.

[Jack Rabid]