Agent Orange, Piñata Protest, The Bollweevils
2109 South State St
Chicago, IL, 60616
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Guttermouth is an American punk rock band formed in 1988 in Huntington Beach, California and currently recording for Volcom Entertainment. They have released nine full-length studio albums and two live albums and have toured extensively, including performances on the Vans Warped Tour. They are infamous for their outrageous lyrics and behavior which are deliberately explicit, offensive and intended to shock, though usually in a humorous and sarcastic manner. This behavior has sometimes resulted in high-profile problems for the band, such as being banned from performing in Canada for a year and leaving the 2004 Warped Tour amidst controversy over their political views and attitudes towards other performers.
In 2005 drummer Ty Smith left Guttermouth to focus on his new band Bullets and Octane and was replaced by Ryan Farrell. Bass player Kevin Clark departed the following year and founding member Clint Weinrich returned to the group. This lineup recorded the band’s tenth album Shave the Planet, released in 2006 by Volcom Entertainment. The album found the band once again using their brand of humorous punk rock to poke fun at a number of subjects. Guttermouth continues to tour and perform in support of the album.
The Original OC Punk/Surf Power Trio
Named after the chemical defoliant so chillingly used by the USA in the Vietnam War, Agent Orange were one of a number of bands formed in the highly active "So-Cal" hardcore scene of Fullerton, Orange County, comprised Mike Palm (vocals, guitar), Steve "Soto" Rodgers (bass) and Scott Miller (drums). However, Rodgers left early in their development to form another local punk attraction, the Adolescents. His replacement was James Levesque.
The band's first important supporter was KROQ disc jockey Rodney Bingenheimer, who was fundamental to the promotion of many similar outfits. Their debut release, the Bloodstains EP, was the only one to feature Rodgers, and its title track was the first song the fledgling band wrote. Afterwards, they signed to prominent local label Posh Boy Records, run by Robbie Fields. The subsequent debut album showed the band rising above the usual three-chord bluster of hardcore with a melodic approach that recalled 60s surf instrumental bands (the Ventures being the most obvious influence). However, the band stormed out of the studio near to the album's completion, complaining about being "produced' and Fields' behaviour in general, leaving engineer David Hines and Jay Lansford (of Simpletones, Stepmothers and Channel 3 fame) to finish off the recordings. The Bitchin' Summer EP was one of the first skate/surf punk crossover items, with three energized surf guitar instrumentals establishing the band's future direction. Various problems delayed the next release until the trio signed with Enigma Records for 1984"s When You Least Expect It ... EP, which saw a conscious and largely unsuccessful attempt to accommodate a more disciplined, polished sound, a mistake compounded by a pointless cover version of Jefferson Airplane's "Somebody To Love'. However, all the elements came together for 1986"s This Is The Voice - the overdriven guitar mesh now allied to first-rate songwriting and delivery. This time the cover of "Dangerman" was fine, but subordinate to the Agent Orange originals. Levesque had been replaced by Brent Liles (ex-Social Distortion) the previous year.
Agent Orange remained largely quiet during the early part of the 90s save for a live album. Palm returned in 1996 with two new members and a studio album, Virtually Indestructible. Their 2000 release was a mixture of new recordings and re-recordings.
What do you get when you meld "fast/loud rules" with the Tex-Mex accordion? Piñata Protest and their invigorating and pointed "punk rock-y-roll." The band "forcefully take the raw essence of conjunto into warp-speed tempos and punky aggression," raves the San Antonio Current, which rates them as "one of the most original forces on the local music scene." And now with their national debut album on Saustex Records, Plethora, Piñata Protest take their infectious and bracing South Texas slamdance to the rest of America and the planet at large.
The band bristles with a sound that has been dubbed "amphetamine norteño," "ranchero punk" and "puro pedo [no bullshit] punk rock" while also targeting the adversities and emptiness of modern life with dead-eyed aim. As the San Antonio Current observes, "Piñata Protest's Álvaro Del Norte is doing for the accordion what the Dropkick Murphys do for the bagpipes, playing what's often considered an embarrassing grandpa-music relic with youthful angst and energy, expanding the punk-rock template beyond London and NYC."
Led by the sneering vocals of lead singer Daryl, The Bollweevils are direct inheritors of a Chicago hardcore tradition handed down from acts such as Naked Raygun and The Effigies.
Undisputed as one the finest Chicago punk outfits during the 1990s, The Bollweevils were, and still are, defined by their spirited live performances and a song catalogue that demonstrates both their roots and creative ability as a band.
Known for their connection with fans, The Bollweevils began their recording career on Underdog Records, but soon were noticed by Dr. Strange Records. And shortly thereafter, the band released the punk staple “Stick Your Neck Out,” which featured favorites such as, “Dehumanize,” “Bottomless Pit,” and “John Doe.” The album defined The Bollweevils sound, which is laced with high-paced drumming, aggressive guitar and bass workings, and witty and sometimes tongue-in-cheek lyrics. Because of this, The Bollweevils soon garnered one of the largest local audiences and became one of the preeminent bands during the 1990s Midwest punk scene.
During this time, the band began playing more shows throughout the United States and shared the stage with bands that were both influences and contemporaries, including Naked Raygun, Rancid, AFI, Pegboy, Down By Law and Youth Brigade—many of which who later appeared on the band’s album liner notes.
The Bollweevils' second album, The History of the Bollweevils, Part One, collects previously released material from EPs and compilations. 1995's new studio effort Heavyweight boasted a more mature approach, with increasingly complex arrangements and backing vocals. The album concludes not only with a cover of the Bad Brains' "Pay to Cum," but also a 10-minute-plus, audio tour-diary entry.
And although the band went through several lineup changes, The Bollweevils never lost focus on creating an everlasting effect on the Chicago punk scene. Perhaps, one of the best representations of this is their release “Weevil Live.” To see The Bollweevils live is not only an experience, but an assault on the senses and the album surely captures that spirit. The band gels on stage like very few bands can—with Daryl flying around stage and jumping on the audience, Ken and Bob shredding guitars and the fans just eating it all up.
However, like all good things, things had to come to an end and the band officially disbanded in 1996 when they announced, on the legendary Fireside Bowl stage, that they would be playing their last show. To put it simply, fans were not only stunned, but very disappointed as well. At that time, it appeared that The Bollweevils were destined only to become folklore to a new generation of punks.
But in 2003, The Bollweevils reunited for a one-off sold-out show for WLUW at The Metro with a new drummer, Pete. The show, at that time, was considered as the best Bollweevils’ performance to date and whole new generation of Chicago kids were now even more intrigued by the band.
So when the band officially reunited once again in 2006 which included Naked Raygun, The Blue Meanies and 7Seconds, there was a resounding “Hell Yes” by the punk community because unlike many bands who have come and gone, The Bollweevils’ music is as relevant today as it was when it was first written. In the upcoming months the band plans new releases, more shows and a dedication to its fans that will be rivaled by none.
~ Partly written by Erik Hage, All Music Guide