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The Lookouts: Spy Rock Road (And Other Stories)

Punk-rock shenanigans from the mountains of California.

If it wasn’t for the now highly notable punk rock names involved in the Lookouts, the band’s output would hardly warrant more than a cursory mention for fans of the 80s and early 90s scene.

As it happens, though, both Green Day drummer Tré Cool – a mere 12 years old here and initially unable to play – and future Lookout Records mainman guitarist Larry Livermore were founding members, and when you throw in early appearances by Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong and Operation Ivy/Rancid bloke Tim Armstrong the band’s importance as a talent incubator rises significantly.

Pulled together from their second album Spy Rock Road and a brace of EPs, plus some compilation tracks, this buzzing collection should make California punk rock historians very happy indeed as this material has been out of print for 25 years or so.

Sonically as basic as their infamous shack-in-the-middle-of-nowhere HQ, the tracks range from rough but charmingly naïve three-chord wonders such as Big Green Monsters to the relatively sophisticated and accomplished likes of The Green Hills Of England and Red Sea.

The spark of great potential is ever-present, and it’s fun hearing a bunch of precocious kids hammering seven shades of shit out of instruments they’ve yet to master./o:p