Benedict Arnold and the Traitors – Kill the Hostages 7″ reissue
Benedict Arnold and the Traitors were (I believe) a west coast band that existed from 1980 until about 1983. I only knew their name from seeing them on occasional record collectors’ want lists but until now I never got to hear their music. My first impression was that I’ve been missing out on something great the past couple of decades that this was unavailable!
The title track refers to the Iran hostage crisis that was going on at the time of this record’s original release. It’s exactly the kind of parody type of punk song you’d expect from a band in the early days, set to some raw and simple melodic punk with slightly snotty vocals. This band would have easily fit in on the Dangerhouse Records label and is easily as good as anything from that era. The title track clocks in at just under two minutes and the flip side, “Red Alert” is a slower number that is a few seconds shorter but equally as enjoyable and makes for a perfect companion to the amazing A-side. In reviewing this single, I played both sides about a dozen or so times each because the songs were just so good I kept wanting to hear them again.
The record is packaged in a color fold-over picture sleeve that I’m assuming is a pretty accurate reproduction of the original with new label information on the back side. It comes on black vinyl and contains a half page insert that gives a brief history of the band (though sadly omits where it was they came from) on one side and some band photos on the other. Overall it is a great package with greater music that is a must own for any fans of old punk rock (and the rare KBD type records). Artifix should be commended for resurrecting this long lost and rather obscure gem, and now I also want to smack them for making me have to add yet another original rare record to my never-shrinking want list!
Artifix Records website