Despite only releasing the three-track We Are The One 7” and the four-track 12” White Noise EP during their brief lifetime, The Avengers remain one of the most revered of the first wave of Californian punk bands. Led by the brassy, outspoken Penelope Houston, they formed in 1977’s Summer Of Hate, supported Sex Pistols at their notorious final show at San Francisco’s Winterland and built a sizeable following along the West Coast, playing all the right LA haunts including The Masque and Mabuhay Gardens before abruptly splitting in the summer of ’79.
Initially released in 1983, their lone, self-titled LP (usually referred to as “The Pink Album”) posthumously boosted their legend, but it’s been deleted for decades. Now it’s finally back in circulation and forming the backbone of this eponymous 31-track anthology, it’s easy to hear why the LP inspired such devotion. We Are The One, I Believe In Me and The American In Me especially should be ranked among US punk’s most exhilarating refusenik anthems, though either Thin White Line or The Avengers’ vicious cover of The Rolling Stones’ Paint It, Black could have thrust them into the mainstream if they’d stuck around.
Fleshed-out by a slew of studio demos, seethingly snotty live tracks and garnished with impassioned sleevenotes from eminent music writer Greil Marcus, Avengers more than lives up to its incendiary reputation within discerning punk circles.