Adolescents
Adolescents


4.5
superb

Review

by Ben Jimenez USER (36 Reviews)
July 26th, 2007 | 28 replies | 8,881 views


Release Date: 1981 | Tracklist

Review Summary: When referring to the Adolescents' self-titled debut album, it makes adjectives like "essential" and "indispensable" understatements within hardcore punk rock.

7 of 7 thought this review was well written

With over 100,000 millionaires living within its boundaries, Orange County, California is one of the wealthiest counties in the United States. Better known as the O.C., it’s also a cesspool filled with ignorance, narcissism, and spoiled teenagers that is considered praiseworthy by MTV and fashion magazines. It should not come as a surprise then that hardcore punk emerged from this filth to counter every stroke of eyeliner.

The Adolescents formed in 1980 and released their debut Adolescents in 1981, before disbanding later that year. The lineup that came to fruition to produce their debut united the talents of bassist Steve Soto, guitarists Rikk and Frank Agnew, drummer Casey Royer, and lead vocalist Tony Cadena. Rikk and Royer were from Social Distortion, while Soto was formerly a member of Agent Orange, giving the Adolescents a mature collection of established O.C. musicians.

Starting a punk band takes some effort, but sounding better than lawnmowers and wind chimes is another story. To really make waves, the punk band has to be talented, unique, and controversial. Not only do the Adolescents meet each criterion on their self-titled album, they exceed them. Adolescents satisfies hardcore punk traditionalists and modern punk enthusiasts alike because Rikk Agnew is a beast on guitar, the album transitions between the tame and uncontrollable flawlessly, and every song is worth talking about. Even the monotonous tracks on the album “Rip it Up” and “Who is Who” manage to deliver an addicting chorus at blistering paces to avoid being qualified as filler. Other seemingly typical rushed hardcore punk songs like “Self-Destruct” and “Word Attack” are phenomenal because they accelerate with concise imagery of youth and turn corners around ferocious beats. The album’s weakest link is that as a re-release, its inclusion of the final three songs from the Welcome to Reality EP lack the same spunk heard on the original thirteen.

Perhaps the greatest sequence of punk rock songs in history occur on the album with “Kids of the Black Hole,” “No Way,” and “Amoeba.” “Kids of the Black Hole” epitomizes the scene at the time in a sensational fashion, while its lyrics rival the phenomenal music. Tony Cadena sneers with a potent youthful sincerity in a moment recollecting,

The nights of birthdays
The nights of fry
The nights of endless drinking
The knights of violence
The knights of noise
The nights that had to end for good, still not understood, by the girls and boys.


Cadena and crew knew the phenomenon and were well aware of its half-life. To surround these words of wisdom, a skipping drum beat and popping guitar riff create a ticking time bomb. Rikk Agnew then arrives to penetrate the walls of noise with a short solo that provides for the songs’ climax. “No Way” begins with a perpetual pounding, before a seamless gear shift into a few creative licks by Agnew. A backup harmony provided by Steve, Rikk, and Frank, only emphasizes Cadena’s screams of “No Way!” Immediately after, “Amoeba” starts into a hypnotic chant of its title, a prelude to a song addressing the irony of the scientists’ work. Such a simple creature with so little awareness of its surrounding environment is prominent on the slides of microscopes and in the bedrooms of O.C. homes. Its undeniable catchy rhythm and “Amoeba” chant possesses enough strength to hook listeners, but a lasting solo by Agnew between chants completes the song.

Adolescents is hardcore punk that will never be heard by the stubborn, simple-minded guys and gals basking in the sun on Laguna beaches. It combats ignorance, narcissism, and materialism with intensity, symbolic of hardcore punk’s glory days and a landmark in punk rock. It belonged to the kids of the black hole, and it’s still a weapon against our oblivious society today.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Concubine
July 26th 2007



333 Comments


good review

this album is superb

nickpcharrette
July 26th 2007



110 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

sweet

The Sludge
July 27th 2007



2169 Comments


You are a good reviewer.

descendents1
July 27th 2007



702 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks a lot Sludge.

I've been meaning to write this for a long time and I saw them recently and that fueled the writing. They were incredible so look out for them on tour (they'll be in Texas, Utah, Colorado, and California).

Fort23
July 27th 2007



2474 Comments


Very Good job on the review, never thought these guys got the attention they deserved.

Aficionado
July 27th 2007



1027 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Very good review, dude. It was really needed.

MrKite
September 29th 2008



5020 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this has got to be one of my favorite albums. i usually don't like hardcore albums this much. it's just so fucking amazing.
Kids of the Black Hole is one of my favorite songs.

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
October 19th 2008



3760 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Finalylfinally listed to this. So f'ucking cool, Amoeba totally rocks my socks.

Digging: Towers - Bel Air Highrise Plantation

MrAwesome
October 23rd 2008



17 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Kids of the Black Hole and Amoeba are definitely great songs. The rest of the album is good, but nowhere near as great as those two.

TheyTookOurJobs
January 21st 2009



1318 Comments


Amoeba! Amoeba! Amoeba! Amoeba!

KTV
January 29th 2009



760 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

album roolz

Doppelganger
May 23rd 2009



3124 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Kids of the Black Hole is one of the best punk songs ever recorded.

sinisterplague
February 22nd 2013



151 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

^

"No Way" was like my personal anthem in high school.

ShadowRemains
August 12th 2013



20230 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

tell me who is who

Cygnatti
August 12th 2013



21349 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Desperately need to relisten to this.

Digging: The Avalanches - Since I Left You

ShadowRemains
August 12th 2013



20230 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yuh

Cygnatti
August 12th 2013



21349 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Wow this album gets better and better with every listen.

ShadowRemains
August 31st 2013



20230 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

def thought when playing thps3 that amoeba was going

"TONYYYYY HAAAAWWWWKKK.....TONY HAAAAWWWWKKK.....TONY HAAAAWWWWKKK"

Cygnatti
August 31st 2013



21349 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

better and better

Chesse
September 21st 2013



529 Comments


i love how amoeba is in gta it's so good



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