Respect Your Elders: Top Five Veteranos at the Punk Rock Picnic

The 4th annual OC Punk Rock Picnic is happening this Saturday, and the lineup of bands is epic. Six stages will showcase a few foundational American regional hardcore bands, as well as young up-and-comers that keep the scene alive today.
But first, we must pay our respect to our elders. Here are five locally grown bands that made their mark in the early '80s. (And yes, they are worth taking a break from drinking in the parking lot, I promise.)

1) TSOL (8 p.m.: Main Stage #1)

You might remember these guys from their cameo appearance on the exaggerated-punk '80s favorite, Suburbia. They started up in 1979 in Long Beach and to this day, still put on an amusing show. Front man Jack Grisham's self-deprecating humor will either enthrall or disgust you, but to hear the group play the weirdo-personality-affirming anthem, “Code Blue” is worth hearing him talk about all of his groupie experiences.

 2) Ill-Repute  (6 p.m.: Main Stage #2)

These guys are the innovators of “Nard-Core”, a parochial subsect of the Central California hardcore movement. Formed in 1981, singer John Phaneuf still has his signature, shrill, cut-throat voice that loudly perforates through such favorites as “Clean-Cut American Kid” and “What Happens Next.

3) Angry Samoans (7:30 p.m.: Living Dead Stage)

This band is my personal favorite from this year's lineup. Their style is both rhythmically complex with clever-ass lyrics. Songs like “My Old Man's a Fatso” and “STP not LSD” really make for a thorough, joyful head-bobbing experience. Their ability to switch energies from seriously hardcore to whimsically parodying separates these guys from the rest of the LA punk clan. Both founding members (brothers), “Metal” Mike and Eric Saunders, actually used to write for Creem magazine back in the day.

4)  Dont No (6:30 PM- Living Dead Stage)

These Huntington Beach hardcore veterans are so punk rock, they don't even have a YouTube video available. But they do have a MySpace page, so check them out before you go. The band plays with a unique heaviness (with even heavier lyrics backing them up), and this is the first time I've ever see them in a lineup, so you should all be excited.

5)  Agression (3 PM: Main Stage)

Agression was yet another sweet Oxnard contribution to the 1980's Central California hardcore scene. Their song “Salty Leather” was immortalized in the classic international Punk And Disorderly Vol. 1 compilation. They are considered to be an indispensable part of the merry skate-punk genre as their earlier songs talked shit about such issues as rich kids and  insomnia. They eventually turned metal, but I hope they play some of their old school stuff. 

So, there you have it. See you all in the pit! (Check out a few photos from last year's event here.)

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