Albums for The Apocalypse #6: Minutemen’s “Double Nickels on the Dime”

March 29, 2020 | By

Buy Double Nickels on the Dime by Minutemen on TIDAL

Long ago, now some 40 years ago, several bands emerged from the budding punk rock scene that would change the landscape of music forever. Among the greats, Black Flag, Dead Kennedys, The Misfits, one band stood out above the rest. A band that chose to go against the usual three chord riff and repetitive choruses in favor of poetic lyrics and tight melodies. They were known as Minutemen, just three young men from San Pedro, California who wanted to sing about all the things that pissed them off.

While the first few albums by the band are amazing in their own right (especially their sophomore effort “What Makes a Man Start Fires?” which features some of Raymond Pettibon’s signature artwork on the cover) “Double Nickels on the Dime” sees the band truly coming into their own sound. The album is an 81-minute joyride of a staggering 45 tracks, most of which are under two minutes in length. This large number of tracks allows the band to explore a myriad of different melodies, lyric stylings and song writing techniques. Hit singles off the record like “Vietnam” and “Corona” (which you may have heard as the opening track in the hit series of Jackass films) are broken up with poetic interludes like “One Reporters Opinion” which sees the band reading off one of their more harsh reviews and “History Lesson Part 2” which stands as one of my absolute favorite spoken word songs ever written. The album even dips it toes into purely instrumental tracks with songs like “Cohesion”.

Many of the songs on the album follow the theme of something that was beloved by every member of the band and most of their fans: cars. Motor vehicles find their way into the lyrics of many songs on the album and car sounds can be heard on both the opening and closing tracks. This goes on to make the album a perfect listen for a long road trip.

In a more tragic sense, is the album’s theme compounded with the death of its lead singer, D. Boon. In 1986 D. Boon and his girlfriend were killed by a drunk driver, effectively

ending the band. If it weren’t for Boon’s tragic passing, there’s no doubt in my mind that the band would have gone on to be considered one of the rock and roll greats, up there with the likes of The Clash and The Ramones.

Even though I have a habit of calling many different albums my favorites, “Double Nickels on the Dime” is truly up there for being one of the greatest punk rock albums ever made. The album is hauntingly poetic, and the tracks are unmistakably catchy. If nothing else, you should give this album a listen simply to experience a piece of art that has become a cornerstone in the genre.


-DJ Wild Bill


Tags: , ,

Category: Reviews