In a world where Punk has become a commodity on a par with soy lattes and $500 tennis shoes, it’s comforting to know that Agent Orange is still prowling the wastelands and kicking the universe in its rapidly descending ballsack.
There are almost no active Punk bands that can claim AO’s impressive legacy, including its presence at the birth of Surf Punk and its relatively uninterrupted three and a half decade history, an unprecedented timeline given the volatile nature of Rock bands in general and Punk bands in particular.
IIf you’ve somehow forgotten the immutable power of Agent Orange, or are among the generations that are too young to remember, take 20 minutes to experience the visceral thrust of the Orange County, Calif., trio’s debut single, “Bloodstains,” and its first album, Living in Darkness. That’s the point of the spear where Palm first envisioned a band that would sound like Dick Dale pissing on an electric fence and bellowing lyrics as if Brian Wilson was off his meds and writing therapeutically about his father’s abuse.
You could call it “Crowd Surfin’ USA” or “Miserloud,” or you could just call it one of the most elementally influential blasts of sound to emanate from Southern California in modern times. A rose by any other name is defoliated just as effectively after a potent dose of Agent Orange.