0 of 1 thought this review was well written
This is an amazing album showcasing the hardcore side of the birth of california punk rock. In contrast to other orange county punk bands like Agent Orange and The Dead Kennedys that had a surf infused vibe, the Adolescents represent a sound more commonly found on the East Coast.
Now for the band members.
Tony Cadena really lets it rip with his sneering vocals giving everything he has as if trying to imprint his anger and emotion on to the record itself.
Rikk Agnew plays above the average level of a teenage punk rocker with some truly amazing solos, showing true talent.
Frank Agnew does a good job on rythm guitar that would have earned him a lead guitar spot in almost any other comparable band. Indeed after his brother left the Adolescents Frank took over lead guitar.
Steve Soto plays solid bass and gives a good back beat.
Casey Royer destined to go on to DI fame rocks on drums slamming them hard and giving the tracks a real hard backbone. The more I listen to this album the more I think his drumming is really a highlight.
On to the songs.
I Hate Children
Not my personal favorite song on this album, it is not as inventive as some of the other songs on the album music-wise. It does set the overall frustrated and angry tone for the album.
Who is Who
A punk classic, although it seems that not as much time time was spent producing this track as some of the others the gritty sound enhances the overall feel of this song. Who is Who captures the essence of the frustrated youth.
Wrecking Crew starts out slowly with the first verse, then explodes into its full punk rock glory when Tony screams "we're just a wrecking crew bored boys with nothing to do". An awesome song with a great crunchy guitar riff and revert back to the slow tempo with another blast of voice and song at the end.
One of my favorite tracks with a unique guitar riff, tempo changes and great chorus about mainstream people trying to kill the punk scene. A great contrast to bands and pop culture nowadays glorifying Orange County, Beverly Hills and L.A. conformistism.
At 47 seconds a short, hyper blast of rage at the world, an influence to bands like JFA that perfected super-short songs.
Kids Of The Black Hole
The longest song on the album at 5:26 this song doesn't bore, with a great intro, verse, chorus, and a short guitar solo. A song I can listen to over and over...
Featuring rockin' guitar by Rikk and a great line with "cannot live in a world this gay" making it one of best teenage angst/frustration songs. When I heard a clip of No Way on the internet I knew that I had to get this album (it actually wasn't until later that I recognized Amoeba from THPS3).
As I said before this song is included in THPS3 which I can thank for introducing me to punk in 03 when I heard Blitzkrieg Bop. This song has a downright cool gangshout chorus and awesome analogy of teenage life to being a science project. How can I forget the 2 count 'em 2 guitar solos showcasing even more of Rikk Agnew's talent.
Boy am I glad that the lyrics were included with this album because Tony spits the verses out so fast it would be nigh on impossible to decipher them without the extra help. Casey's gunshot-like drumrolls and tension building "We'll attack" shout at the end make this song enjoyable if not one of my favorites.
Rip It Up
Tony lets it rip with this song, with sneering yet intelligent lyrics and a reference to A Clockwork Orange, one of my favorite books. The interlude between the verses and when Tony repeats "Gotta rip it up" is cool and although it is a little repetitive I still find myself hitting repeat and rocking out to this song time and again. Tony's voice is great when he pushes it to the breaking point, reminiscent of Johnny Rotten.
A good song with a political bent to it, Democracy is definently a song you grow to love.
No lyrics for this song so I had to figure them out for myself, and get some help from the net (plyrics.com). The heavy thumping bass beat and simple guitar chords give way to a spectacular solo by Rikk. He and Mick Jones of The Clash inspired me to pick up guitar. Overall a solid song that I personally love.
A song basically about high school and outsiders, Creatures is a hate filled but good song that I like. It really projects raw emotion, one I listen to whenever I'm mad.
Welcome To Reality
This and the next two songs were written and recorded after Rikk left the band and lack something without his writing and playing style. Welcome To Reality is a somewhat sluggish apocalyptic song, not one of my favorites.
My favorite from the welcome to reality EP, it recaptures some of the energy filled frustrated rage of earlier songs. I'v rocked out to this song a ton.
Things Start Moving
A drug trip song with some rather clever lyrics describing how disgusting LSD is. It is a little slow but has grown on me, the end lyric "another great trip never wanna stop" is basically how I feel about this album I can listen to it again and again.
Adolescents is in my opinion a landmark albumand a punk classic with Tony's vocals at their peak. On subsequent albums his voice has changed to a more hard rock scream than a Rotten-esque punk screech. Rikk Agnew's guitar is amazing for his age and I urge all fans of this album to check out his solo albums, especially All By Myself. An interesting side note is the fact that which band member(s) wrote each song is included with the list of tracks. Love this album it is on my top 5 list.