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This weekend I’ll be mostly listening to… The Adolescents May 15, 2010

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture, This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to..., Uncategorized.

Here’s a band that sort of sum up the US hardcore scene of the early 1980s. That brief shining moment, perhaps best captured in text by Mark Spitz in We Got the Neutron Bomb : The Untold Story of L.A. Punk, a scabrous yet affectionate account of the west coast scene, where punk distorted into… what?

Hundreds, perhaps thousands of bands who largely sounded the same, inflecting punk, or as it became, hardcore, with more metal, more speed, more anger. And then as they matured, those that survived, experimenting.

It didn’t couldn’t last, at least not for most. And I guess one can posit that they ushered the way for Poison Idea et al. But by then… well, it had all changed.

So, what of the Adolescents? Second wave punk almost-supergroup consisting of exiles from peers Agent Orange and Social Distortion. Out immediately with classic single Amoeba in 1980/81 and followed rapidly with their debut album. An album which to me is as good track for track as the UK side of the equation from 76/77. Tony Cadena vocals had that authentic teenage howl of rage… the guitars speedy, drums likewise and some nicely defined bass (and thankfully they generally eschewing Dead Kennedy’s melodramatic take on punk). Unfortunately guitarist Rikk Agnew departed for a solo career and then a stint with Christian Death. There were reformations, under their own name and then the ADZ name, and so it has gone. They’re in the process of recording an album, or perhaps it’s been released, and in interview, Steve Soto – guitarist, responded to the query whether a band called the Adolescents should really be playing when they’re now in their 40s…

“Whenever anyone says that, I say, ‘Do you think the Circle Jerks sit around and jerk each other off?’

Erm… well… when he puts it that way.

As it happens I first heard them in the early 1990s when I started listening to a lot of hardcore, and even now they stand out from the pack, so to speak.

Snotty, obnoxious, lyrically profoundly dubious – albeit of their age and time. Brilliant in a word. Adolescence ain’t what it used to be. That’s for sure.


Kids of the Black Hole



Who is Who

No Way

Live Fullerton 1982 – yep, they were more or less adolescents…

And while I can’t seem to find the track on Youtube here are the lyrics to Democracy… Make yer think – eh? 😉

Is this what you call democracy?
They’re killing us, and you’re killing me
Now I know better, now I can see
That I don’t wanna be in democracy

Now is the time for us to strike
Do we know what we’re doing? Have we set things right?

They’re leading us into World War Three
And this what you call democracy
It’s a cry for no government, a cry to be free
And I don’t see freedom in democracy

Democrat, Republican, or Libertarian
Do you really care what party you’re in?

Did you really think you could make it big
Living amoung these nuclear pigs
If you didn’t know you’ll never see
We’re too far gone for democracy

Look whats it’s done to you and me…
Democracy is not for me…


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