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The Left | Jesus Loves the Left

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Rock: Punk Rock: Noise Moods: Mood: Angry
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Jesus Loves the Left

by The Left

Notorious over-the-top screaming Stooges style punk rock from the 80s.
Genre: Rock: Punk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Hell
3:31 $0.99
2. Youngster on the Force
1:44 $0.99
3. Stop
0:48 $0.99
4. R.I.P.
2:43 $0.99
5. Fuck It
1:47 $0.99
6. Attitudes
2:38 $0.99
7. Frontline
1:40 $0.99
8. 5 AM
2:52 $0.99
9. The Viet Cong Live Next Door
2:46 $0.99
10. Labels
2:10 $0.99
11. T.V. Eye
4:27 $0.99
12. Teenage Suicide
2:22 $0.99
13. My Shows
2:04 $0.99
14. Aids Alley
2:51 $0.99
15. Redneck 7-11
2:25 $0.99
16. You're So
2:18 $0.99
17. State Of Mind
4:32 $0.99
18. Justice
3:21 $0.99
19. Columbus Day
2:19 $0.99
20. A Perfect World
4:02 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Hagerstown, MD's Groundbreaking Punks the Left Release Their Complete Works on CD for the First Time
Bona Fide Records proudly presents, for the first time ever, the complete recordings of Hagerstown, Md's The Left in a 20 song CD Jesus Loves the Left which features their very first recording the incredbily catchy and insulting "You're So", both their 12" releases It's the World and Last Train To Hagerstown along with 4 previously unreleased cuts from 1992. These firey, furious songs that glorify, revel in, and at the same time vilify punk attitudes have over the past 20 years or so acquired quite a reputation as no-holds barred-over-the top punk rock of the highest order. This was the early 80s--no internet, no my space, and punk clothes were homemade with magic markers, not bought at the mall. Back in 1977 Stiv Bators screamed "Gotta get outta here, there just aint nothin to do!" and it was that teenage boredom that fueled a whole generation of punk rock, the Left included. Bored with life and the music scene in rural western Maryland, they turned to a style of music that was fresh and vital and they mixed many diverse influences including the Sonics, Chuck Berry, Link Wray, and the 13th Floor Elevators and blended them effortlessly with the powerful urgency of hardcore punk. Far from jumping on the bandwagon and being just another cookie-cutter punk band, their finely crafted tunes captured the fury of their idols while spewing venomous but thoughtful lyrics backed by a testosterone fueled teenage rock and roll barrage with Jim Swope's take-no-prisoners guitar splattered all over it.
Perhaps their strange redneck hometown in Maryland created its own spawn fed on hypocrisy, boredom, ignorance and hate. It's the small town America syndrome, you know, settle down and act right, eat your supper and be quiet! Well, telling the Left to be quiet was like telling a kid not to play with matches! Breastfed on a diet of the Stooges, Standells, Dead Boys, Sex Pistols, the Damned and the Sonics, et al, they unleashed their first blistering fury "You're So" on Bona Fide's Train to Disaster comp in 1983, stunning listeners and inviting comparisons from Richard Hell to the Monkees, all in the same breath. Torn between 60s punk and 70s punk, the Left merged both and continued to grow. 1984 saw the release of their debut 12" It's the World! and people began to take notice of the Left's powerful sound. Hard Times magazine declared "The Left are confident enough in their abilities to push substance over style, infusing their songs with the spirit and drive that propells the best hardcore over the edge," and declared the EP "easily one of the best debuts by an American band this year." Forced Exposure magazine chimed in calling it "a menacing disc of sheer warlock power:" Byron Coley mused "real fuckin nice. RIP and 5 AM are my picks to click though the whole thing glows with a fine and grubby light which is hard to deny." Maximum Rock and Roll added its two cents. "extremely powerful and original. A sure winner!" Making several "best of" lists and goin thru 2 pressings, the Left did arrive and their angry songs, "Hell", "R.I.P", and "Attitudes" got lots of attention with their double edged lyrics both celebrating and ridculing punk attitudes. The Left were a fierce rock and roll band, anti-fashion powerhouse rockers with a rowdy, boisterous sense of fun---problem children and charlatans rolled into one. The all-out sonic wail was driven by 19 year old Jim Swope's frantic, distorted gutiar and Brian Sefsic's hell-bent pissed off vocals, with Brian's brother Kevin on bass and Bill Sword on drums laying down a crunching sledge hammer rhythm.
In 1985, the Last Train to Hagerstown 12" may have had the Left slowing down just a bit, but they were still angry. Jim Swope's biting sarcastic lyrics were again double-edged. In "The Viet Cong Live Next Door" it seems as if the Left invite prejudice, until the last verse reveals the true color of our protagonist, and his solution the the problem while a menancing Peter Gunn riff looms large. It's when the Left mix equal parts humor and anger their tunes take on an added wicked edge. Sarcasm, black humor and pessimism were rolled into one brutal attack, powerful, offensive, fierce and fun as hell! A blistering note for note remake of the Stooges "T.V. Eye" cemented forever the punk rock creds of the Left. Both 12"s ranked high in Chuck Eddy's Stairway to Hell (Da Capo, 1998) where Eddy claims the "tub-tumbling grunge granite kicks your chest cavity in" and refers to their songs as "simmering chunks of cancerous filth". The Flex discography of US punk says "Tough and melodic punk...Great powerful music. These guys should have made it big!" Unfortunatley, like most true punk bands the Left imploded as their second LP was released. Even though both EPs were later combined and reissued in Germany, the band never reformed until 1992. That short-lived reunion resulted in 4 great tracks which remained unissued until Jesus Loves the Left. These tunes again burn with fire, and "Columbus Day" recorded on its 500th anniversary shows the no longer teenage band still angry as ever. Now, for the first time, all the Left's recordings have been assembled into one fine package together with an extensive history by Innervoid editor John Hornick, an original member and close friend of the band and It's the World cover artist, along with many unpublished photos. Only now has the full majesty of the original recordings been captured, and now once again the spirit and drive of the Left explode with a diabolical power and fury that spits in the face of every empty trend! For more info: bonafiderecords.net email: rick@bonafiderecords.net

All Music Guide 4.5 Star Review by Richie Unterberger:
This 20-track compilation includes everything from the Left's sole EP (1984's t's the World) and sole LP (1985's Last Train to Hagerstown), as well as the track they contributed to the 1983 compilation Train to Disaster ("You're So") and four previously unissued 1992 recordings. It's the complete legacy of a band who, though they didn't get a ton of press while active, stood up to much of what was recorded by better known bands of the period that kept the punk flame burning. Close to, but not quite, hardcore, it was a pinch more melodic and indebted to hard rock, metal, and garage than much other punk of the time, though many hardcore elements were there in the pummeling rapid rhythms, defiant and nasty lyrics, sullen yet anthemic singing, and darkly brooding riffs. The four 1992 tracks are fairly similar in tone to their mid-1980s work, though these were done by a slightly altered lineup, with Rod Smith replacing Kevin Sefsic on bass. The CD also features historical liner notes, photos, and artwork done for their original vinyl releases.



to write a review

JR Manitoba

It's about fucking time!!!
I've been a fan of the Left ever since they played some of their first gigs in the Harrisburg, PA back in the early 80s! It's about time this awesome stuff got reissued on CD! The power of the Stooges with some 60's garage & 80s hardcore influences thrown in. This has not left my CD player since it arrived!


A "The Stooges" alike album !!
I Love it, every track is a winner

//Chris (Sweden)

Wayne H.

'Jesus Loves the Left' the new CD which compiles the two LPs, plus bonus tracks by The Left, surprised the 'Hell' out of me. Their first LP 'It's the World' is one of the all time greatest U.S. Punk releases, EVER! But, I never expected to see it re-released on CD. It's funny too, I was utterly unaware of it's existence and just happened to stumble upon it in CD Baby's database. I was so excited when it finally arrived in the mail, I was like a druggie who just scored some crack and was about to light up the pipe. I'm sure I pissed-off my neighbors, but the CD virtually begged to be played at an ear tweaking volume, It was after all the Left! It was truly a thing of jagged beauty, hearing that awesome group, in a nice crisp digital format. I have one grievance tho; Why oh why did they have to remix the first album!? It wasn't a bad job, but it was flawed. To repeat an old cliche - 'Don't fix what ain't broke'. The original mix was perfect guys, you didn't need to tinker. But enough bitching, overall 'Jesus Loves the Left" is still one of the best re-issues to be unearthed in the last 5 years. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!

matt feeney

Not a bad song on this entire cd. These guys are often overlooked if they are known at all. Pick this up or die.


jesus loves the Left
One of the greatest bands, along with The Dogmatics, but in a more straight forward offensive kind of way that put a smile on your face.
If you disagree you will end up in hell with an attitude on the frontline fighting the Viet Cong in the alley next door to your favorite 7-11... so fuck it.

Chirstopher Stigliano, Blog to Comm

This is a wowzer of a disc!
It's sure great to see this long-forgotten Pennsylvanian bunch get the reissue treatment not only because they deserve it and the complete studio sessions of this truly punk/hardcore bunch is even more needed in the here and now than it was twennysome years back, The Left were hardgunch rock and rollin' madboys who, like the Angry Samoans and Rancid Vat amongst few others tried to wrestle the punk banner away from the aerie types and reclaim it as a hard squelch modus operandi.This is a wowzer of a disque to boot, with all those anti-PC faves that seemed to inspire me to greater heights of nose-tweaking getting the royal treatment and boy am I glad of that! The whole thing is one mad powerhouse of primal hard-crashing energized electrodes slammed right onto your right side of the brain,.(after all, they did one of the few covers of "TV Eye" worth its weight in Iggy's boogers) A real powerful treat for those of you bogged down by too much amerindie bloghype drool and that's the honest-to-ME truth!


Unbelievably awesome. Fecking stoked on this!
I've been looking for a copy of the Left's "It's the World" for years to replace my worn out taped copy of the record. Now I finally have a decent version of the release, wait, make that an unbelievably incredible version of the release. Bona Fide did an awesome job on the production of this, the sound is great, but not over produced by any means. It still has that raw, snotty, aggressive sound to it for sure. If you are a fan of the Left this is for you, it's got all the faves, all of 'em. BUY IT!

George Smith, Baltimore City Paper

Garage Punk for Suffocating the Annoying
The Left furnished truth in packaging. The stark visual cues let it be known that this was garage punk for suffocating the annoying--presumably those in Hagerstown, where the band was formed. The blasting noise of the band--Jim Swope’s guitar through a Fender Twin set to crushing treble and singer Brian Sefsic chanting as charmlessly as Iggy on The Stooges--combined in a mix to scratch diamonds. You imagined them to be churls who meant exactly what they sang on "Fuck It," a tune about barflies. Photos included with this new collection, Jesus Loves the Left--a play on the old Jesus Loves the Stooges bootleg--indicate they were more tender-looking than originally thought. By the evidence, even a girl liked them.

In 1985, the Last Train to Hagerstown EP became the Left’s epitaph. The brutal lyrics of "The Viet Cong Live Next Door" and "AIDS Alley" made some peg the band as a group of bigots, but the Left was satirizing its town, which "Redneck 7-11" made clear. "We’ll stomp your heads," Sefsic sang, "because revenge tastes sweet." "You’re So," an excellent one-off for a retrospective sampler, turned "The Last Train to Clarksville" riff into rock to cathartically elbow someone in the mouth to. Chuck Eddy put both Left records in Stairway to Hell, his 1991 book chronicling the 500 best heavy-metal albums in the universe. Too late to do them any good, it added poetic futility to the tale.

Cecile Cloutier, Minneapolis City Pages

Hell is one of the best songs of the past 30 years!
Hagerstown, Maryland's the Left formed to flip the bird at the tedium of their hometown, and on the band's two mid-'80s EPs, It's the World and Last Train to Hagerstown (both on Bona Fide), the band did more than that, fusing together '60s, '70s, and '80s punk with alchemical skill and black humor.

Jesus Loves the Left (which compiles the two EPs and other unreleased tracks) is a loving repository for the band's short history. It kicks off with the opening chords of "Hell," the best song on It's the World (and one of the best songs of the past 30 years), crashing through your speakers when you press play. Brian Sefsic's sneer meshes perfectly with guitarist Jim Swope's keening chords: "There's a place/That they call Hell/Where they don't treat you all that well." The disc rarely falters after that—tracks from a 1992 reunion sound nearly as strong and sarcastic as those from the band's prime.

Rich Fletcher

Holy Shit!
This album brings back memories. It's been over 20 years since I listened to these guys way back in high school. Spent several years looking for another copy of this album and gave up. This will be a great gift this year to some old friends.