In 1981 their single "Bloodstains" wound up on Rodney Bingenheimer's desk and he put it into heavy rotation on KROQ which made the band local legends. Stories abound that it wasn't uncommon to see the band decked out in suits riding their scooters to gigs and then turning in a totally garage punk sort of set. In 1982 they produced the Bitchin' Summer EP where they took surf songs like "Pipeline" and "Miserlou" and transformed them into these violent bits of non-violent agression. The album also included one of the songs included here, Breakdown, an original that combined their surf punk sound with a biting commentary on selling out. With three surf tracks and the one original, it was clear that Agent Orange was unafraid of instrumentals, doing more of those than most bands, punk or otherwise.
I DON'T WANT TO THINK ABOUT IT / I DON'T WANT TO SEEAt the same time in their live shows the band tore up popular sixties anthems like "Somebody to Love" and "Secret Agent Man", and uncovered TV theme songs like "Wild Wild West" and "Get Smart" and sped them up with crashing drums and buzzsaw quitars -- which at the time was still relatively unheard of (if you weren't the Dickies). Theirs was a beachy blend of sixties pop, surf riffs and raw, unabashed punk rock -- a blend like no one had ever seen before. As the 80s moved along so did the band, polishing their rough edges and turning out more melodic punk rock, but always with a bit of an edge.
I DON'T WANT TO KNOW THE KIND OF FOOL THEY'LL MAKE OF ME
THE PUBLIC GETS WHAT THEY DESERVE / NOT WHAT THEY DEMAND
UNLESS WE ALL DECIDE TO BE A BUSINESS, NOT A BAND
Eventually they traded their surf boards --and their vespas-- for skateboards and a different sort of fame. Still, the earliest recordings from Living in Darkness, to the mid-80s This Is The Voice, are over powered power pop at its best.