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In 1983, the release of The Proletariat’s debut Soma Holiday was a shocker—while American hardcore punk was becoming more generic, The Proletariat unleashed something strikingly original. The album’s opening is a call to arms: the primitive, militaristic bass guitar and drums are sliced with razor-sharp guitar dissidence and vocals full of spit and bite. Avant-garde while remaining tuneful, their debut is considered one of the most brilliant albums to come out the early 80’s American hardcore scene. The leafy suburbs of Southeastern Massachusetts, midway between Boston and Cape Cod, isn’t where you would expect to find one of America’s most revolutionary sounding and lyrically incendiary rock and roll bands, but that is where The Proletariat began. In 1980, straight from Apponequet High School, Richard Brown, Peter Bevilacqua, and Frank Michaels began pounding out noise, and soon they added high schooler Tommy McKnight. Inspired by The Buzzcocks, The Jam, PiL, and Wire, the young band tapped into the high energy hardcore punk swirling around and infused it with art-punk excitement. By the time that their classic debut hit, The Proletariat were being referred to as “America’s Gang of Four” and a more supercharged Pop Group. The intelligent anger of the band was a lifeline to many suburban American rejects, young people who knew that life under Reagan wasn’t right. The sound of Soma Holiday not only sounds as fresh as ever, the thoughtful politics of its lyrics are just as relevant today in a world of drone strikes and Donald Trump, as they were when Oliver North and Leonid Brezhnev were household names.