Outer Crust 
Artist: Crashdog 
Label: 2 Jake Records 
Crashdog always seemed to play outside the playground, apart from the other young bands around since the turn of the decade.  For one thing, they were basically the lone bearers of the punk torch until The Crucified (and then Tooth & Nail) came along.  Now we've got a whole schoolyard of punk kids making a ruckus.  And Crashdog still romps alone on the edge of things, maintaining their late 80s old school hardcore/punk sound as one of the most authentic, true-to-their-roots bands out there--they've even dropped back into DIY ("do it yourself") mode by putting this record out themselves, in the tradition of their elders.  Don't look for the clean, tight production of 90s pop punk here, mister.  With their serious emphasis on social and political issues, roughshod production values, and scrappy, sloppy, slam-spawning songs, they fit right in with Minor Threat, Slapshot, Sick of it All, Black Flag, Murphy's Law...all those ruffians from the 80s scene (some still around today). 
Yet this is easily my least favorite Crashdog record on a musical level, lacking the distinctive songs of the first three albums and coming across a little more rushed than the last one.  To be sure, there are good rhythms here that keep my head bouncing, and the lyrics are intelligent, original, and convicting (just the way I like 'em!), but it all blurs together when I play the album.  I might sit down and read the lyric sheet every once in a while, but when I feel like stomping I'll be grabbing some of their older stuff.   

By Josh Spencer