'first two singles ("Destroy All Music" and "We Got the Neutron Bomb") were instant classics of Los Angeles punk and made them Kings of the West Coast scene for a while, but by 1979 they were eager to show that they could do something just a wee bit more professional. With the help of producer Earl Mankey
, they tightened up their sound for their first 12" EP, the six-song Who? What? When? Where? Why?
. From the first moment of speeded-up counterpoint on the opening track, "Happy People," Who? What? When? Where? Why?
boasts a higher level of studio craft than the singles that preceded it, and the new rhythm section of bassist Billy Persons
and Danny Benair
on drums is flashier and more precise that their predecessors (though Benair
lacks Nickey Beat
's manic flair). However, guitarists Dix Denney
and Cliff Roman
sound more powerful than ever in this context, and John Denny
's feral howl remains a manic joy to behold. Add some of the Weirdos
' best songs -- including "Fort U.S.A.," "Happy People," and "Hit Man" -- and you get a record that proves this band could sand off their roughest edges and still deliver some ferocious rock & roll.