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I grew up in Southern California, listening to a lot of music as a teenager. Some of it was ska - the Specials and Madness from England - and some was 70s rock - like Genesis, because I was in the HS band and all of us on the drum line listened to them, but most of it was hardcore punk. Because growing up a nobody from OC, with no real future plans and no ideals and very few values meant we were ripe for music that echoed those same things. And the Vandals excelled at being bad.
This band was at the top of my 16 year-old’s list for most bad-ass, funny and irreverant band from a town right next to my home town and I still love them. The Vandals' first EP was called Peace Through Vandalism and it was amazing to my young brain. All loud crunchy distorted guitar and bass and drums and screaming and shouting about Disneyland and growing up in OC. It was definitely so bad it was greatest thing ever. I remember I made a cassette copy of the record I owned (and still own now) and I wore out the tape listening to it on my crappy boom box player.
A movie was made a few years later, showing what a live Vandals show was like and it’s among the best live punk videos I think ever made. See what you think, but just know there’s swear words and playful violence and well, it’s a punk rock show, eh.
The lyrics to this song are here, in case you can’t tell what they’re sayin' but really just have to know. :)