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I was always underwhelmed by the L-SEVEN 45 that hardcore-era Touch & Go put out in 1982 – mostly because, well, it wasn’t totally, totally ‘core. The label even tried to distance themselves from it a bit and released it on “Touch & Go Special Forces”, as a nod to the fact that this aggressive, druggy, hard-goth postpunk was in a different stylistic league from The Fix, The Necros and Negative Approach.

So it took me a couple of decades, but not long ago, I revisited the thing – maybe in a fit of Laughing Hyenas mania, whose Larissa Stolarchuk/Strickland was a prime mover in L-Seven – and it clicked. And remember, Touch & Go went on to put out a record by The Virgin Prunes, so they already had a little weirdo goth blood coursing through them. With thirty years and change worth of hindsight, I think we can agree that while the lone L-Seven 45 doesn’t quite touch the raw-throat genius of the label’s early hardcore records, it’s a first-rate pounder in its own right. And we wouldn’t even be making the comparison if this had come out on, say, 4AD or Rough Trade, now would we?

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