Memorialize: The Singles Collection 79-82 (Jungle)
by Jim Kaz
First off, this is not the same Wasted Youth you’re probably thinking of. This Wasted Youth hailed from Canning Town, London, and were stylistically more in line with the proto-Goth sounds of Joy Division than the L.A. hardcore blitz of the other band with the same name. This Wasted Youth also featured a young Rocco Barker on guitar, the scruffy, Johnny Thunders disciple who would move on to one of my all-time faves, Flesh For Lulu.
This comp features all of Wasted Youth’s singles, unearthed and remastered with halfway decent sound. While not exactly punk in the technical sense, the band’s sound epitomizes the experimental side of the post-punk era; the stuff that actually kept the insubordinate spirit alive before punk made its first of several comebacks. Standout tracks are the Gothy “Rebecca’s Room” and the twisted, head-fuck drama of “My Friends Are Dead.” While much of the material is a bit slow and too droning for my tastes, I can appreciate that this Wasted Youth were one of the very first doing this kind of thing. Fans of Iggy Pop’s The Idiot or early Siouxsie and the Banshees, give this a spin.