Über Naked Raygun
If, as a teenager, the walls of your room were covered with fliers, your "barber" was a set of Oster clippers under the sink, and all you really wanted to be in life was the last S.O.B. standing in the mosh pit that Friday night, then chances are you listened to Naked Raygun. No other album in American Hardcore sounds a more urgent call to arms than Naked Raygun's classic Throb Throb (1984). Containing two brilliant indictments of the Reagan-era status quo -- "I Don't Know" and "Only in America" -- Throb Throb also dwelled on themes of militarism, displaying a fascination with violence and a sense of subversive parody. Like fellow Windy City dwellers Big Black, NR's menace was attenuated by a cynicism so subtle only the "in" set noticed. All Rise (1985) and Jettison (1987) were also instant classics, highlighted by John Haggerty's avalanching guitars. For bringing together berserker rage and drill-team precision, no band was a match for the Raygun.