You really didn’t think I was only going to go through the alphabet once did you? 😉 Nah, too many great artists I have enjoyed over the years so we can do this over and over and over. Going back to the letter A means I get to discuss my favorite A band, my favorite punk rock band and a band that ranks in my top ten of all-time – period. Yep, time to talk about Agent Orange!
This Orange County band formed in 1979 and yes folks, they are STILL playing today and haven’t missed a beat in 35 years. That is some unbelievable staying power. I have seen Agent Orange live in four different decades now with the last time being at The Modified in 2011. Trust me when I say they show no signs of slowing down.
The classic line-up from 1979-1988 of Mike Palm on guitar and vocals, James Levesque on bass and Scott Miller on the drums will always be my favorite, creating four classic releases from 1981-1986 that included 1981’s Living in Darkness album, 1982’s Bitchin’ Summer EP, the 1984 When You Least Expect It EP and my favorite release from the band and the last with this trio, 1986’s This is the Voice. All four discs are part of my Top 100 Punk Albums of All-Time. Agent Orange was much more than a simple punk band, the melodic power they created with the surf-informed sound was unique and outstanding. How many bands were capable of creating stellar originals with vocals such as “Bloodstains”, “Too Young to Die”, “Everything Turns Grey”, “Breakdown”, “Voices in the Night”, “I Kill Spies”, “It’s in Your Head” and “Wouldn’t Last a Day”, original instrumentals that smoked such as “Mr. Moto” and “Bite the Hand That Feeds pt.2”, then add unbelievable covers to the mix such as “Miserlou”, “Somebody to Love”, “Secret Agent Man”, “Shakin’ All Over” and “Out of Limits”? The answer is ONLY ONE – these guys!
If Agent Orange rolls through your town I highly suggest seeing them play. The current line-up of Palm, Perry Giordano on bass and vocals and Dave Klein on drums and vocals has been intact since 2003, longer than the classic trio and they are incredibly tight. Watching these guys play a few years ago at The Modified was an eye-opener and they put many bands to shame in terms of professionalism and power.
I am really stoked to present this video, five songs from a show in 1983 that features three songs from Living in Darkness and two from the yet-to-be-released This is the Voice. Damn these guys were/are awesome!
Album(s) Inspiration: Living in Darkness and This is the Voice