Stage Diving To The Oldies
by Chris Adams
This may be Boston, not L.A., but that doesn’t mean L.A. punk rock didn’t leave its indelible mark on our little city. Just across the street from my studio, the brick walls adjacent to the Channel are scrawled with the legends of notorious L.A. hardcore groups like Fear, the Circle Jerks, and T.S.O.L. While these days, the Channel is little more than a dilapidated, neglected old hulk, every time I walk by, I recall the all-ages Sunday hardcore shows with pleasure.
Stage Diving to the Oldies (Restless) is intended to conjure up such wistful memories in aging punks. All things considered, it does a pretty good job. Drawing from the best of the So. Cal. punk scene, the album burns with the energy, anger, and D.I.Y. ethic that defined that long-gone era. Sure, all the tunes are limited to three chords, but they’re three really good chords. Lyrically, most of the songs deal with the standard punk themes of alienation and boredom, with a modicum of politics thrown in for good measure, most notably on T.S.O.L.‘s “Abolish Government/Silent Authority.” Surprisingly enough, several of the songs are really poppy – the Vandals‘ “Mohawk Town” recalls Wall of Voodoo more than anything else. Other bands featured include The Weirdos, Agent Orange, The Adolescents, and the Circle Jerks. Best cuts: Wasted Youth‘s “Fuck Authority” and Fear‘s “I Love Living in the City.”