Bert Switzer – 1977-2002

Bert Switzer

Bert Switzer is a drummer from the Boston area who began his career in the 60s. He gained notoriety for the years he spent with the (supposedly) infamous and despised 70s punk band The Destroyed. His long winding career saw him play with various underground artists throughout the 80s before heading into retirement in 1993.
Retirement only lasted until 2001 when Switzer decided to climb behind the drum kit once again. His new indie release is “1977-2002,” a compilation of some of the tracks he recorded over the course of his career. The majority of the 19 songs on the album feature him drumming for The Destroyed; a few are recorded with other partners. Two of the tracks, “Outside Reality” and “Out of the Straight Jacket” were newly recorded by Switzer specifically for this compilation.
The music? It’s punk, in the truest sense of the word. Since the Destroyed prided themselves on never rehearsing their music – except when actually performing for an audience – don’t look for a polished sound. No discussion of mixing or production quality is really necessary, as many of the tracks here were simply recorded on cassette with a boom-box while the band performed live. In fact, the Destroyed never actually recorded a proper studio album. Through all the raw guitars, indecipherable vocals, and meandering instrumentals there are a few moments of semi-tuneful clarity, such as “In the Room,” which reminds me of an early Joy Division B-side.
For the most part, though, this disc is pure punk noise. If you are into the scene and know who Bert Switzer is, this disc may be an indispensable peek into his career. To me, however, it doesn’t really mean a heckuva lot. For die-hards only, I think.