Agent Orange / PUNK

Living in Darkness-AGENT ORANGE-1981


Agent Orange was a 80’s punk band from California and this was their debut. Their basic alteration to the traditional basic punk form was the introduction of the surf-rock motif. Ever heard the famous “The Ventures”? The fuzzy, buzzing, almost warm/mellow guitar tone is plastered over a basic 4/4 most of the time, with the vocals over the top of the mix. The production is mostly clean for that time. The tone/lyrics of the  whole album are in the tradition of punk, not outright angry, but more of a cynical/hopeless/brooding by nature, but not dark. No, not dark. The vocalist wavers at some points, but largely carries and complements the music. At times the lead guitars break away from the fuzzy note established and play some minor key melodies to introduce the plaintive, desperate note into the proceedings.

At times the discerning listener will sit up and say “Why, here is evidence of punks humungous influence on later 80’s thrash/speed metal!!” Recommended highly, I’ve not heard a lot of surf-punk or for that matter, punk on the whole, but this seems to be a pretty good specimen of the genre. Tight, to the point, gritty, catchy, the true predecessors of proto speed metal. Listen to the solo on Everything Turns Grey to understand what I am trying to say. This Sounds Right. And they got one thing right for sure. There is no such thing as love.

Recommended Tracks :- The Last Goodbye, A Cry For Help in a World Gone Mad, No Such Thing, Everything Turns Grey, Miserlou

Baba T

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