A few days back, I found myself reexploring the later years of Flipper, and, before I knew it, I was plunging into the depths of the Bay Area punk scene of the 70s and 80s, from the aggro and blitzed Sluglords to the straight-ahead and powerful Negative Trend. The one that I fixated most on, though, was Crime, which was new to me, despite being, by the measure of some, the first West Coast punk group, having released their debut single, "Hot Wire My Heart," in 1976.

The interesting thing about their sound is its relative sludginess, and the fact that it clangs and bangs more than it buzzes and whirrs. Menacing and maniacal rock and roll. Fitting, then, that they recorded a set at San Quentin Prison in '78.

As you might've guessed, they were short-lived; they recorded only six tracks spread across three 7-inches that were dolled out in as many years.

Fortunately, a stellar comp was recently released, and it pretty much blows all the prior bootlegs out of the water.

Call me superficial, but their legacy might mostly relate to fashion; they were preternaturally stylish and completely committed to always donning matching, themed uniforms.

Don't mix 'em up with Crime & the City Solution.

Final note: Boy do I feel dumb for not understanding the provenance of Sonic Youth's "Hot Wire My Heart," which appeared on Sister, until now.