The band's press sheet says it best: "Who the hell are The Fix and why should you care?" Honestly, what more can I say, other than to answer that question?
So Who Were They?
Let me begin by saying that The Fix were essential. One of the first bands to put a record out on Touch and Go, they were pioneers who helped create the hardcore sound in the Midwest. They were a Michigan band who was just out to make some really good music, and for 22 months or so, they did.
They put out some incredible singles, played with bands like the Dead Kennedys, Black Flag, JFA and 7 Seconds, and then broke up on New Year's Day in 1982. Steve and Mike of The Fix hooked with Tesco Vee of the Meatmen to form another essential Michigan hardcore band, Blight, and that's the history of The Fix in two paragraphs.
What Did They Do?
Just like Touch and Go Records did for Blight, this album is essentially a compilation of the recorded career for The Fix. It consists of a couple of singles, an EP, some outakes and some live recordings. It's raw, low-fi and it rocks hard.
On minute-and-half bursts of hardcore energy, these guys pour out aggression and tight punk rock. Tracks like "Signal" and "No Idols" sound like what hardcore bands on the West Coast were doing at the same time. There are also standouts like "Signal" (which at three minutes and 37 seconds is the longest track on the album by well over a minute), a song boasting raw power that is allowed to ooze out at a pace that makes you uneasy waiting for all hell to break loose, which does happen two-and-a-half minutes in.
The sound is low-fi, but no worse than any other bands of the era; it's how hardcore records sounded at the time, and I love Touch and Go for not trying to remaster any of it. The live tapes are surprisingly clean, so that they match up with the recorded material for the most part, aside from a few rough points. If you're looking for an overly slick record, you shouldn't be listening to old school hardcore anyway. The pop music section is three aisles over, pal.
Why Should You Buy This?
If you're at all interested in the early days of punk and the bands that influenced the hardcore movement, pick up At The Speed Of Twisted Thought. It's a valuable historic recording, and as the first single by The Fix just sold for $1,700.00 on eBay, it might be the only opportunity the casual music fan will have to own recordings by a band that might possibly be the best hardcore band you never heard of.