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Punk in My Vitamins?

Sure, it had its pop moments, but Karp was really all about Black Sabbath invading punk rock and making everything right again. The band’s energy was palpable, and its use of overfuzzed distortion was downright evil. The bass rumble on 1997’s Self Titled LP alone was enough to make you forget all about any love you might have had for “punk godfather” Bob Dylan. Naturally, you miss Karp. So, apparently, does Punk in My Vitamins?. The Olympia, Wash., label recently released a compilation of the band’s rarities, and frankly, it kinda rules. “Rowdy” and “Turkey Named Brotherhood” perfectly illustrate Karp’s deceptive complexity: These classic single sides would be straight-up moshcore if it weren’t for all the riffin’. Even better is “Blue Blood,” whose meandering interludes and feedback explosions are a seven-minute-and-three-second reminder of whence that whole sludgy-punk-metal thing came. Also included are a pair of tracks recorded by Unwound’s Vern Rumsey at a defunct theater in Olympia, as well as the must for any post-mort anthology-type release: a couple of compilation contributions, one of which is a yawn-inducing cover of “Nothing Left Inside” that was supposed to be on (surprise) an unreleased Black Flag tribute. The disc omits almost all of the band’s finest moments—virtually all of which come from Self Titled—but the sloppy-as-hell raunchiness featured here nonetheless serves as a nice record of the way things were. Bob Dylan? Who the fuck is that? —Mike Kanin