If Orange County was suburban hell in the early 1980s, then Agent Orange, Social Distortion and the unruly Adolescents were its tour guides. Truly the offspring of punk itself, the Adolescents melded the melody of the Buzzcocks, the nihilism of the Germs and the songcraft of X. Led by skinny teenage singer Tony Cadena, the band formed a "wrecking crew" culled from "bored boys" that attacked parents, teachers and political culture with ferocious wit and nimble musicality. Evoking a world somewhere between Lord of the Flies and The Lost Boys, they unleashed a barrage of tunes that were proto-hardcore ("I Hate Children"), aggressively poetic ("Kids of the Black Hole") and downright anthemic ("Amoeba"). Though the Adolescents imploded, with members drifting to a dizzying array of bands like D.I. and Christian Death, the band churned on in spurts, producing both vital slabs (Brats in Battalions) and lesser lights (Balboa Fun Zone). They re-formed in earnest in the last decade, touring like dog-eared veterans and forging fine work like 2005's O.C. Confidential that poked at democracy ("Hawks and Doves") and heaved up surf-punk. Just named Orange County's Best Punk Band of 2010, they're back with potent new songs like "Peace Don't Cost a Thing."
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