Top 25 Greatest Orange County Bands of All Time: 5-1
Most teenagers who strapped on a guitar during the beginning of the second Bush administration could can easily call out Thrice as an inspiration for the angry, distorted racket they created in their parent's garage. Knowing what concrete influence their music had on scores of current local bands--throngs of amazing acts from the last ten years who couldn't make this list--warrants them a high place on the countdown. Early records like Identity Crisis and Illusion of Safety represented an unmistakeable change of the guard for the OC music scene. You couldn't call their music punk, you couldn't call it hardcore or even post-hardcore. But you could call it angry, imaginative and at times even meditative. They were one of the first modern bands to really pull all of that off in a way that didn't sound like reheated tough guy hardcore from the decade prior. This was new. Despite their current indefinite hiatus (three years, we're calling it!), the ability to walk away with 14 years, eight releases and countless tours and the original lineup created a collective, hometown spirit that manifested in roaring fashion during this years run of farewell shows. One important thing to note is the growth and maturity in the band's sound on their last album, Major/Minor that gave us hope that Thrice is the kind of band who is able to take a one-of-a-kind savage sound and allow it to age gracefully.
Tim Buckley was the definition of creativity. He could voyage into fresh territories whenever he picked up an instrument, blend every noteworthy style into one homogeneous form, and keep things funky even when they were at their most bizarre. Jazz, funk, folk, soul, pop -- nothing was incapable of mastering. Buckley didn't come to California until his adolescent years, but it was here in Orange County that he honed his diverse talents and built his career. He met his first wife Mary Guibert -- who would later give birth to his son, singer-songwriter Jeff Buckley -- while attending Loara High School in Anaheim. And, around the time he finished his two-week stint at Fullerton College, he became a part of the burgeoning music scene of 60's era Orange County. As a young twentysomething, Buckley was part of a group of progressive, boundary-breaking folk artists dubbed The Orange County Three (along with Steve Noonan and Jackson Browne), and went on to release more classic and influential bodies of work than any of his local peers. Unfortunately, Buckley never managed to make it to his thirties, but like many other artists who passed away before their time, he managed to forever cement himself as a visionary and an untouchable figure in music.
3. The Adolescents
The Adolescents only need one reason to be on this list--we like to call it the "blue" album. Though there's no denying the greatness of the releases that followed, this 1981 LP is an indisputable classic (see tracks like "Amoeba," "Wrecking Crew" and their signature anthem "Kids of the Black Hole," for proof). It created a blueprint for OC (and beyond!) punk that has become part of any local punk's DNA. In the beginning Tony Cadena was merely following his impulse to sound like Darby Crash. Ultimately, what he did was ultimately inspire countless kids who shredded their vocal chords trying to sound like Tony Cadena. With a sizable, rotating roster and three reunions under their belt since their original hiatus in 1985, it appears there's no way we're ever getting rid of these guys. To this day, all of their recent reunion shows exhibit signs of a band who are polished, mature, and as tight as they were when still in high school in Fullerton--playing shows with Black Flag and partying with she-males at Geza X's house. If not the definitive OC band, they're still everything gone wrong about growing up in the 714.Next Page
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