Operation Ivy


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Among the best works of the rightfully maligned ska-punk genre, Operation Ivy's Energy is an unsurpassed, highly intelligent, extremely fun record. At the pinnacle of the East Bay punk scene, Operation Ivy sadly fizzled out just before the record was released, but left their mark and are frequently cited as an inspiration to all the bands that came later and played the same sort of music, though never as well. Bassist Matt Freeman and guitarist Tim Armstrong, who eventually formed Rancid, provided the musical foundation for the band, a then-novel mix of raging punk and catchy ska, while singer/lyricist Jesse Michaels wrote thoughtful political songs from a personal perspective. The result, on this, their only full-length, was an album full of classic anthems that every one of their rabid fans at Berkeley's 924 Gilman Street used to sing along to at their packed shows. From "Knowledge," a song covered by Green Day, to "Bankshot," a fantastic ska instrumental, to "One of These Days," a punk rock reworking of Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots Are Made for Walking," to the incisive political commentary of "Gonna Find You" and "Freeze Up," Energy succeeds in combining all sorts of elements into a thoroughly rewarding knockout of a record. The CD also includes Operation Ivy's exceptional Hectic 7", as well as several hard to find cuts from various compilations.

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