Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Agent Orange

I've been trying to fight it but I can't get past the obligation of having to use the term 'skate punk' in a write up on Agent Orange. I don't know dick about 'skating' music or the skate scene. All I know is that in high school all of the skate rats had either Agent Orange stickers on their boards or sported band t-shirts (along with all sorts of Suicidal Tendencies shit). Most of these kids actually new nothing about the band or their music, but hell, they had a cool logo and Thrasher recommended them.

But enough of all that, here's the basic breakdown: Agent Orange formed in 1979 in Fullerton, CA and became a favorite of KROQ DJ Rodney Bingenheimer. Bingenheimer included the classic "Bloodstains" on one of his compilations for Posh Boy. "Bloodstains" was also the title track of the bands 1980 7". In 1981 the band released their first 12" Living in Darkness. The album consisted of 8 tracks of mod-punk fused with surf beats and somber themes. 1982 saw the release of Posh Boy cash-in 12" Bitchin' Summer that contained 4 cuts from the LID sessions . While the band would go on to release several more albums throughout the '80's and '90's all the prime tracks are included on the Living in Darkness CD reissue. Highlights:

Agent Orange - Bloodstains.mp3
The 1979 original version that appeared on the Rodney on the Roq compilation. Really, this is one of the top angry punk anthems you're likely to find.

Agent Orange - Living in Darkness.mp3
I don't know if the CD has been remixed, but those cheesy "thunderclaps" are garbage can lids. They sound more synthesized than on my vinyl version. Don't let that detract from this amazing song, it's my personal favorite of theirs

Agent Orange - Miserlou.mp3
OK, I figured I had to include at least one of the classic surf instrumentals. This one is a cover of the Dick Dale signature tune "Miserlou". Also covered is "Pipeline" by the Chantays and "Mr Moto" by the Bel-Airs.

Agent Orange - El Dorado.mp3
From their first recording session. This was dusted off and issued as a contractual obligation 7" in 1990. I've included it solely on the basis that it is big fuck you to the jocks at El Dorado High School in Placentia, CA which I had the pleasure(?) of attending for a couple of years in the late '80's. Right on!

Assorted Crap: