You know what is bad ass about this post? I actually did see Agent Orange play a birthday party back on April 17, 2011. Don’t believe me? Well just ask The Father Figures then ____ you. 🙂
Best. Punk. Band. Ever. I have heard a lot of great music from a lot of great punk rock bands in the past four decades. I still believe the mighty Agent Orange does it better than anyone and many of those other bands that could claim the distinction have probably released more material than this trio from Orange County. No matter, Agent Orange sets itself apart from its peers by combining the intensity of punk rock, the raw pop aesthetic of power pop and adding in a furious amount of surf informed rock and roll. You could slam to their music (no, it’s a SLAM pit, not a mosh pit!) one minute then the next moment sit back and marvel at the melodic riffs they delivered.
Agent Orange has three proper studio albums and three EPs, plus a number of compilations that many times featured re-recordings of classics such as “Bloodstains”, “Bite the Hand That Feeds part 2” and “Breakdown”. Add in a brilliant live album by the name of Real Live Sound from 1991 and you have in your hands an amazing catalog. Living in Darkness is considered by many to be their most classic album but I have always been partial to 1986’s This is the Voice.
The band’s current line-up of Mike Palm on vocals and guitar, Perry Giordano on bass and Dave Klein on drums shreds, have watched them play live on a couple of occasions. I will always love most the classic lineup of Palm, James Levesque who replaced original member Steve Soto on bass and Scott Miller on drums. That trio created Living in Darkness (1981), Bitchin’ Summer (1982), When You Least Expect It (1983) and This is the Voice (1986), four discs that will permanently be a vital part of my record collection. I have no clue how many times I saw that line-up play here in Arizona. What matters is they always, always, always smoke live, whether it was those great shows at The Metro in support of This is the Voice, a mind-blowing performance at O’Malleys in Tucson or yes, that birthday party at The Modified in 2011.
This playlist has some live versions of songs, a lot of great covers and several rockin’ instrumentals. The version of “Shakin’ All Over” is from the Flipside Vinyl Fanzine Volume II album. What a fun playlist this was to put together. 🙂