Man, I just can't seem to get my head wrapped around reviewing Live At The Longhorn. I've started to do it, but it just never seems to work. The Hypstrz used to be called King Kustom & The Cruisers (The All Leather Stomp Band) and they played Fifites rock. They decided to change their name and move on to the next decade becoming one of the first Sixties revivalists. The Twin Cities band was inspired by The Ramones and local punk band Suicide Commandos to speed up the cover songs they were playing. This resulted in an explosive sound detonation and with few breaks between songs the Hypstrz live set was a wave after wave sonic assault. That's one way I've thought of beginning a review.
I've also thought about telling of my own historical basis of appreciation. I found an old Bomp Records compilation on vinyl and it featured "In The Midnight Hour" by The Hypstrz. I didn't like the misspelled name (what is it with Twin Cities artist and misspellings), but I loved their raw cover version of a song that I really was tired of hearing. I was thinking about having the band I was in at the time cover some Northern Soul classics and hearing The Hypstrz do a soul classic was just what I needed to give me that sort of confidence.
I could lead with a bit about The Hypstrz artistic bravery to play covers instead of originals. The prevailing musical currents in 1979 were disco and corporate dinosaur rock. Punk rock was becoming post-punk, hardcore, or being packaged as New Wave. The big boom in Sixties revival bands wouldn't happen for another 3 to 4 years. Then there's the simple matter that The Hypstrz preferred playing amped up cover songs to their own material which was sure to alienate the less discerning rock writers and fans. They were unlikely to win over fans wearing screen printed Journey, Styx, or Foreigner concert shirts unless they were covering those artists.