Reunion albums can be tricky. All too often, in worst case scenarios, it becomes obvious the band just doesn't cut it anymore. This is not the case with O.C. Confidential, the first Adolescents album since 1988's Balboa Fun Zone. Fans will be pleased with this particular lineup as it features original members Tony "Reflex" Cadena (vocals), Steve Soto (bass), and Rikk Agnew (guitar), rounded out by Frank Agnew (guitar), and drummer Derek O'Brien from Social Distortion. These 13 songs are a bit slower and more melodic than previous releases and a few are blatantly political: "Hawks and Doves," "Lockdown America," and "Guns of September." The band isn't spitting out Orange County punk with the energy they were once known for, nor are they simply rehasing the style of their early-'80s single "Amoeba," which was an underground hit via the Rodney on the ROQ radio show. O.C. Confidential plainly gives an honest representation of where the Adolescents have been since 1988. Thankfully not rehashing hardcore cliches.
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AllMusic Review by Al Campbell