Saturday, June 23, 2007

Agent Orange’s Living in Darkness (Review)

...I was waaay too young to fully absorb Agent Orange when they first dropped their debut LP Living in Darkness but luckily, through the magic of analog recording/ digital remastering I can turn back the hands of time to September 1981 (a month before my 9th birthday, yo)...the re-ish, of their seminal set opens with the original version of “Bloodstains” which chugs up in your facial like Jaws’ dorsal fin and then it’s on to the passable “Too Young to Die” followed by “Everything Turns to Grey”...things start getting interesting on their version of Dick Dale’s “Miserlou” and even moreso on the infectious “The Last Goodbye” but then there’s a relapse on “No Such Thing” which strikes me as a track of filler, plain and simple…

...going forward, I learned from the liner notes that the version of “A Cry for Help In a World Gone Mad” was recorded totally unrehearsed and, not to put too fine a point on it: it sounds like it…this is followed by a “Darkness Version” of Bloodstains that only an AO afficionado would really dig on (all’s I really checked was the way it was mixed down)...of the seven remaining cuts, the ones I skipped to for multiple spins were: “Pipeline,” a crunch-rock take on the Ventures’ instrumental guit-fiddle classic from way back when, then “Breakdown” (which any early-era Clash fan will gush over) and “Mr. Moto,” another instrumental cover cut from back in the day and worth a double-take. The last cut on the newer CD is actually an interview from 1981 wherein Mike, Scott and James shoot the shite and expound on why they were doing what they did when they did it while recording the original LP…Taken as a whole, I think Living in Darkness is worth copping; a collection of punk tunes that’ll butter any punk-lover’s popcorn; a keeper for those who like a touch of the hard stuff every once in a while…here are three of the cuts I’m vibin’ on…I’ll begin with breakdown… Header to check more tracks....

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