Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
Of all the bands that burst out of Cleveland in the mid- to late-'70s punk explosion, one of the most unjustly ignored was the Pagans. Despite breaking up in 1979 (they, however, reunited several times since), these grimy bohunks played fast'n'loud piss-and-vinegar garage rock that valued alienation and, at times, extreme bad taste. Led by the honking rasp of Mike Hudson and the rapid-fire guitar of Mike "Tommy Gunn" Metoff, the Pagans never played it safe, nor did they enter the rock & roll wars wanting to win any friends. And this, ultimately, was a good thing, for like their pals the Dead Boys, their anti-star pose and carpe diem attitude meant that their best songs (and there are quite a few) sound as if they were set to auto-destruct at the tune's end. Although their don't-give-a-damn attitude lends itself more than once to some sexist japes and homophobic ranting, the Pagans ultimately didn't care who they offended. In fact, listening to any of their vintage material (1977-1979), you'd think that offending everyone was their artistic raison d'être. As Treehouse Records president Mark Trehus opines in the liner notes to the great collection Buried Alive, "the Pagans were as unwrought, impudent and gnarly a buncha rock'n'roll bedlamites as America's ever spewed outta its queasy underbelly." Little more need be said.