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CRUCIAL YOUTH- Straight and loud! 7″EP (Faith Records, USA, 1987)

crucialyouth_front.jpgcrucialyouth_back.jpgI was gonna try and write something funny about this hillarious and very clever record. But then, after three or four drafts, I realized that this is actually still impossible to top, after all these years. In fact, New Jersey’ CRUCIAL YOUTH pisstake of boyscout bands was quite visionary, because when this came out in 1987, no one else was to know how bad things would actually become.
What makes me burst out in laughter is mainly the vocalist with his priceless imitation of the singing style of that Youth of Today clown and of course the lyrics – I mean, could you ever walk into a video store (well, DVD store) without thinking of “Be kind, rewind”?
If I remember correctly, they had released a tape before this and sent it in to MRR for review. It did get a review and further attention and the following is the letters-to-the-editors-spectacle that took place in MRR over the next two or three issues. Actually, the joke was sooo good, it, it made a lot of people look pretty damn stupid. Highly entertaining crucialism:


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Dear MRR,
Listen up. I get 8 hours of sleep, I only go to G or PG movies, brush my teeth, eat a balanced diet from all 4 basic food groups. What are you gonna do punk? I listen to CRUCIAL YOUTH! Yeah, so what. They’re the only band with enough guts to stand up to the issues that matter. Let’s face it. Muffinheads who won’t rewind video cassettes deserve no desert with supper. Gosh, some people’s parents taught them no respect. So all you straightedgers who think MINOR THREAT is God, Ian McKaye should wash his mouth out with soap.

P.S. Sorry for being so vulgar, but it had to be done! CRUCIAL YOUTH RULE.

Since you’ve been away, this upstart Syd Snott his shouting his mouth of about 77 style punk. Why don’t you put this filthy, cursing, negative punk in his place. – JJ

We’ll look into it – Gentleman Jim

I think your demo is the best. My favorite song is 4 rules. Mr. T is a blast.Most people think C.Y. is the most possitive S.E. band alive, but when they hear your demo they say you suck. Not me, I think you’re great. And I’m S.E.

I’ve always admired all S.E. bands, but you guys have made a commendable point – “Why Curse?” I’m glad you are spreading your message because others seem to rely on cursing way too much. Great Job.

Dear Crucial Youth,
My only hope is that in sharing and exposing my C.Y. merchandice with// – to others,so I can have the same profoundly positive impact on them as your music and lifestyle has had on me.
P.S. You guys are Mormons, right???

Dear C.Y.,
I used to think that Minor Threat was it except for their language! Are you guys Christians? It’s great to see a positive band like yourselves to get the center page of Max R&R. God bless you.

Dear Crucial Youth,
The saddest day of my life was the day I missed your show in Albany. I’m sorry. I did the positive thing by working that day to support my ailing mother (send no money please – she got that way from living by non-straightedge ideals. Another thing I’m writing you about is your a[ppearance in the LOUSY LEFTIST RAG – Minimum RnR. Oh no! What’s the story? MRR’s none too positive (they curse). Maybe them bums at Lampricide sent it in – I don’t know but Lampricide is a way cool ‘zine and I will admit your MRR layout was an inspirational hight in an otherwize dark, dreary ‘zine. Lucky for me it was the centerfold so I could bend back the staples and burn the rest….

Dear Crucial Youth,
It’s really cool to see a straightedged band once in a while. I like your motto: Physically Strong, Mentally Awake, and Morally Straight.
It sounds a lot like the Boy Scout oath. Are you any religion or are you straightedge because of your conscience?


You guys sound so positive and headed straight that I just have to check out your cassette. Hey, did you know that drinking is forbidden also under Islamic law? I’m sending Khameini my skateboard tomorrow. (A person in a so-called straightedge band) see straightedge is rooted in the new testament, but the Moslems have been at it a lot longer. SKATE HARD AND SAY YOUR PRAYERS


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Dear Maximum Rock & Roll and readers,
….My second complaint is lodged at Crucial Youth and the people at MRR who consented to publish such fascistic trash! It is one thing to be and live and practice straightedge philosophy, it is another thing to turn it into facistic dogmatism and shove it down peoples throats!
You say that anyone who swears can’t be truly straightedge! GO F
**+#*CKIN TELL IT TO IAN McCKAY AND THE REST OF MINOR THREAT!!! ….You are saying that just because a person does this or that he ain’t straightedge! THIS IS ELITIST AND AS JUDGEMENTAL AS SAYING anyone who likes Sex Pistols. or dosn’t (or does) have a mohawk must be a poseur.
…I’m disappointed with MRR for giving such Drug Free Fascists the space! For the past 51 issues I have been reading MRR for its honesty, reliability and credibility, and as a reader and consumer of your products, I must vent out my deepest feelings of disappointment in your judgement!
I hope that you do not give extremists like these any more of your time cause you’re only waisting your time and your audience’s time! Straightedge is PEER PRESSURE which is a form of fascism and is NEGATIVE!!

To Crucial Youth,
I just read the artical on you in Max R.R. I’m an old punk – 32 – love music – live etc. Drink when I want – swear moderately – and have a mind of my own – you’re a little fascist. Who do you think you are – I can’t believe young people can be like that – straightedge – Minor Threat etc. is old news and redundant – why don’t you get a life and quitt preaching – I bet you’re just a pimply faced kid who has never been laid anyway – I believe alcohol can kill – I’ve got 3 members of AA in my family but each to their own – Everything in moderation – you sound worse than someone’s parents – Grow up a little – see how you feel when you’ve got a little mileage under your belt – why a shaved head – why the X’s – old news – be yourself

To Crucial Youth:
Regarding: Your attitude. Your bias against other skate bands and punk bands. Hey dudes, why don’t you join the Congressmen’s wife Committee on Censorship? You don’t even deserve to be in MRR or part of the thrash or punk scene when a band like yours starts making judgements about personal morality or lifestyles of others! And you know it!

To the Editor (Maximum Rock ‘N’ Roll,
After reading your recent spread on CRUCIAL YOUTH, I get the impression that unless the article was a cleverly disguised parody, we have regressed in twenty short years from “the age of Aquarius” to “the age of Edge”.
While it has become obvious that excessive indulgence in illicit pleasures is neither desirable nor healthy, the preachy and self-congratulatory attitude taken by those CRUCIAL YOUTH boys seems disturbingly reminiscent of Jerry Falwell and the Nazis. Perhaps, these guys would benefit from reviewing the old parable about the oak tree wherein said tree is constantly bragging about its superlative strength and size to a nearby reed over which it towers. During a severe windstorm, however, the stiff oak is blown down while the more pliable reed is able to bend and consequently remains standing. Loosen up, dudes!
P.S. I am enclosing a condom which I hope you will send these guys in case one of them decides it’s not beneath his scruples to go out and get a good piece of ass.

To Maximum Rock ‘N’ Roll,
I just bought your Sept 87 issue to find that the center spread was given to a band I’d never heard of (that’s ok – I haven’t heard of a lot of bands). I noticed it was filled with bad, immature cartoons. (that’s ok – not everyone can be a good cartoonist). I noticed that the band is touting our great country America, and how everyone should lift weights and stop saying (expletives) or whatever. Oh yes, rewind those video tapes. Reagan wouldn’t need to spend American money for the Contras to try to overthrow Niorauga and make ’em American pawns. Was that a joke to put CRUCIAL YOUTH on a 2- page spread? If it was, it wasn’t funny.


Ther band later released a couple more things, including one LP (»Posi-Machine«) with one incredible booklet. Find out more here and finally, this is the 7″ lyric sheet for you, so you can sing a along and clean up your act:


  1. gentleman bob

    man the vocals LOL


    Posted on 09-Sep-07 at 14:08 | Permalink
  2. I used to have a compilation tape with “Positive Dental Outlook” in it. Can’t remember which one. Great post btw, reminds me of the good ‘ol days.


    Posted on 09-Sep-07 at 16:46 | Permalink
  3. Eddie

    I remember this band back in ’87-’88 and never bothered to buy their records cuz the name itself didn’t sound interesting and listening to a few tracks just now, my judgement was correct.


    Posted on 09-Sep-07 at 21:36 | Permalink
  4. If you curse you’re the worse & no friend of mine… brilliant, I think I might have to pick up the CD collection, I remember hearing these tunes years ago & just laughing so hard!


    Posted on 09-Sep-07 at 22:37 | Permalink
  5. Admin

    Eddie – the horrible music is fully intentional here.


    Posted on 09-Sep-07 at 22:47 | Permalink
  6. OTTO

    Brilliantly conceived, brilliantly executed… spot on an funny as hell. Thanks for posting.


    Posted on 10-Sep-07 at 06:36 | Permalink
  7. adamski

    There was another piss-take of straight edge called GRUDGE back in 89/90 who had a 7″ on Jism (ha!) Records. Think it was something to do with the HALF OFF guys. Made me chuckle a couple of times.


    Posted on 10-Sep-07 at 08:35 | Permalink
  8. mrpoopy

    I can understand why all those SE bands were imitating Ian MacKaye but where did the Yogi Bear influence come from? If you liked this brand of retardo “straight edge”, Pilsbury HC and Public Humiliation might float your boat.


    Posted on 10-Sep-07 at 14:53 | Permalink
  9. Simon

    Even when I was 16, it was hard to fathom how anyone could take this seriously– the satire’s clever but so obvious. Then again, by the early 90’s straight edge was so fucking dumb you couldn’t even parody it anymore, since anything you might come up with in jest was already exceeded by what drug-free carnophobes were saying for real.

    That said, my favourite mock edge record remains the sole EP from Florida’s mighty STRAIGHT YOUTH….take it, Larry!


    Posted on 10-Sep-07 at 15:07 | Permalink
  10. Always wondered why I didn’t by this instead of Youth Of Today.


    Posted on 11-Sep-07 at 00:16 | Permalink
  11. ha ha ha. great shit [sic]. Hold on – do you write drafts for your posts? I assume you even use Spellcheck huh? – And when are you posting Pilsbury HC?


    Posted on 11-Sep-07 at 19:49 | Permalink
  12. Admin

    Yeah Slobo. Drafts, spellchecking and professional editing by a crew of Pulitzer Price winners.


    Posted on 12-Sep-07 at 02:10 | Permalink
  13. Jan

    I love this “positive Dental Outlook” play on words 🙂

    exzellent post, mister Erich Young 🙂

    hasse prüfungen gerockt?



    Posted on 12-Sep-07 at 07:41 | Permalink
  14. I can’t believe no one would get the joke. I remember having “Be Kind, Rewind” (which I used to get in my head every goddamn time I took tapes to the counter at the stupid video store) on a mix-tape that had the likes of “I’m My Own Grandpa”, Kim Fowley’s “The Trip” and “Convoy”.

    “Then again, by the early 90’s straight edge was so fucking dumb you couldn’t even parody it anymore, since anything you might come up with in jest was already exceeded by what drug-free carnophobes were saying for real.”

    Ain’t that the truth?!! It’d be like trying to make fun of any band on the Victory Records roster NOW. Like hunting wild boar with a can of spray paint from the safety of a Hummer.


    Posted on 12-Sep-07 at 18:56 | Permalink
  15. Punks are funny, but my kids preferred your you tube talking dogs.


    Posted on 13-Sep-07 at 08:26 | Permalink
  16. Admin

    Didn’t you find them talking dogs a bit scary? Check youtube for talking cats videos. It’s a crazy crazy world we live in.


    Posted on 13-Sep-07 at 08:30 | Permalink
  17. bob

    saw these guys back in 87/88 good stuff i still got a 12 ” and some stickers stuck to a tape case!


    Posted on 15-Sep-07 at 13:36 | Permalink
  18. My buddy Chris got the last copy of this from the band – he got a little letter of congratulations and a plea to ‘Stay Positive’.

    Seeing the articles in MRR with the comics – it was SO CLEARLY a rip on the SXE dim wits (and MAN, were they DUMB! And not drug free BTW). Man, this shit still makes me laugh!!



    Posted on 08-Oct-07 at 22:06 | Permalink
  19. Rob

    Crucial Youth were the reason I sneaked beers into a Fugazi gig, hidden in my leather jacket. And for good measure I drank em in the uinderage section. Still damn funny after 20 years, I just bought the cd posi machine this week.


    Posted on 11-Apr-08 at 06:36 | Permalink
  20. flippy

    STRAIGHT AND PROUD 1986 HOGAN’S HEROES thats where the title comes from both are from new jersey


    Posted on 10-Jun-08 at 22:45 | Permalink
  21. adamski @ 7:

    Little-known factoid – Maynard Krebs of the CRUCIAL YOUTH guys was part of HALF OFF – moved to left coast in ’87 or so. Dunno under what name he played in LA, tho’.


    Posted on 28-Oct-08 at 11:21 | Permalink
  22. industrislaven

    I love this record, and the vocals are awesome. Ian MacKaye with a 47th chromosome.


    Posted on 25-May-09 at 13:11 | Permalink
  23. elliott

    god people are stupid. i get the joke. i respect these guys for what they did. fuck all these humorless hardcore fuckers.


    Posted on 12-Jan-10 at 04:26 | Permalink
  24. love your website, great post rips scans and comments


    Posted on 18-Oct-10 at 23:03 | Permalink
  25. the pelican

    to whom it may concern, i just ripped my 1989 live tape from their show in duesseldorf. fairly decent quality.
    if you like, download it here:—Live—AK47-Duesseldorf—09.08.1989.mp3.html


    maynard Reply:

    Hey “the pelican” – guitarist from CY here – I’d love to get a copy of that recording as I’ve never heard it but the link has gone out of date. I’m sure there are many “wince worthy” moments, but still interesting to hear what it sounded like since I could never tell from on stage.

    Cheers !


    Posted on 15-Jan-14 at 22:05 | Permalink

6 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] DRI. Vocalist “Joe Crucial” delivers appropriately trite lyrics in a honking bellow (a commenter on another website described it as “Ian MacKaye with a 47th chromosome”) that consist of gems […]

  2. […] THIS is how you make fun of hardcore: Crucial Youth’s legendary LP “The Posi-Machine” is the definitive sxe/hc […]

  3. […] near-legendary underground bands (Shock Mommies and the straight-edge parodists and provocateurs Crucial Youth); as a globetrotting veteran tour crew guy for some fairly famous acts (stories, he’s got […]

  4. I Remember Mommies | Asbury Pulp on 02-Apr-13 at 20:00

    […] lineup of Norton (whose 80s projects also included the straight-edge parodists and provocateurs Crucial Youth) on guitar and vokes, alongside fellow frontman Marc Saxton (whose own psych-pop outfit Watch […]

  5. […] that have tried this sort of thing,” says Norton, a veteran of such legendary local punk bands as Crucial Youth and the Shock Mommies. “It’s early enough so that it’s school-night and work-night […]

  6. […] that have tried this sort of thing,” says Norton, a veteran of such legendary local punk bands as Crucial Youth and the Shock Mommies. “It’s early enough so that it’s school-night and […]

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