Agent Orange

When You Least Expect It...

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Agent Orange's first major release after Living in Darkness was a bit of a time killer -- four of its six songs were covers -- but When is still a prime slice of surf/punk action with some fun little detours along the way. The most curious would have to be the opening track, Jefferson Airplane's psych classic "Somebody to Love," but while the original's full psychosis isn't around, Palm conjures up some pretty good spooky, reverbed vocals as the band merrily crunches through things. Johnny Kidd's "Shaking All Over" gets an enthusiastic run-through, as do "Secret Agent Man" (Palm gives both guitars and vocals some great attitude) and the closing "Out of Limits." As for the two originals, "Bite the Hand that Feeds (Part 2)" continues the band's winning streak of killer instrumentals, while "It's Up to You and Me" has a jaunty, power-pop kick to its light romantic angst. Maybe not crucial, but still a good way to spend some time.

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