Southern California skate-punk progenitors Agent Orange blended melody, aggression and riffage with surf rock and classic beach pop. The spirit of DIY punk was always about being original, and Agent Orange stayed true to that. The band mastered taking classic old songs and punking them up.
Listen to its 1983 version of Jefferson Airplane’s “Somebody To Love.” In its way, Agent Orange had more in common with the Go-Gos and X than with the Dead Kennedys and Black Flag.
Next year marks the band’s 40th year, and over those decades it has toured all over the world and probably every city of note in America. Frontman Mike Palm is the sole surviving member from the original lineup, and he’s retained a remarkable energy and coherence. These guys are punk legends. Their music was the soundtrack to the skate scene, and Agent Orange matched the intensity of the sport. See them before they decide to stop.
Agent Orange plays Cafe Nine, 250 State St., New Haven, on Friday, Aug. 17, at 8 p.m. $15. 203-789-8281 or cafenine.com