As summer approaches, I find myself gravitating towards the sonic stylings of early 80’s West Coast hardcore. There’s something about the music of band’s like The Adolescents, T.S.O.L., D.I., and Agent Orange that lends itself to to being the perfect soundtrack of sweaty summer afternoons. The song above, is one of my favorite T.S.O.L. tracks and comes from, probably, their most famous record, the band’s 1981 full length debut, Dance With Me. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing T.S.O.L. play on several occasions, however, it was their performance at Frontier Record’s 30th Anniversary show at the Echoplex a few years ago that I witnessed just how awesome this band could be. In fact, their set was so good that night, it made me consider whether or not they’d been mailing it in every time I’d seen them before. The thing about a lot of these older punk rock bands is, generally, their reputations from their early days are so mythic, so legendary, that they have hard time living up to the hype more than twenty years later. However, T.S.O.L. lay waste to that crowd at The Echoplex like they were young upstarts trying to prove themselves all over again. Their set was unrelenting and masterful and their energy builds and deliveries were some of the best I’d seen from any punk band ever. When they played their most popular tune, “Code Blue,” to close their set out that night, it was so brilliant and explosive, it was like hearing it for the first time all over again. I gained a new respect for T.S.O.L. that night and highly recommend checking them out if they roll through a town near you.
More information on T.S.O.L. can be found on their Facebook.