Described as the "Brian Wilson of Punk," Rikk Agnew's latest LP Learn. comes 30+ years after one of the most fertile two-year musical stints in recent memory. From 1980 to 1982, Agnew was a major musical force in iconic lineups of both OC hardcore band Adolescents and the goth icons Christian Death, yet also released his own landmark debut solo album, All By Myself. That same power and energy is present on Rikk Agnew Band's Learn., a hard-charging, high octane, in-your-face album of punk rock fury. Produced by another prominent member of the Southern California punk scene of the late 1970s and 1980s, Paul Roessler (The Screamers, 45 Grave, Geza X), Learn. is a reflection of Agnew's raw and unrepentant look at life today. After years of self-destruction, Agnew today is both healthy and happy for the first time in decades. But don't for a minute think the years have softened Agnew whatsoever -- the 12 blistering tracks on Learn. are very much classic Rikk Agnew tunes that rightfully labeled him as the "original OC punk". "Boulevard" could easily have been found on the Adolescents' famed Blue Album while "Punk Belly" is a poke at Agnew's once protruding mid-section that is anything but fat now. "Deprogrammer," on the other hand, is a six-minute epic blast of anthemic yearning that leans heavily on the All By Myself years. It's a very, very complex and thoughtful record that happens to be a punk rock head-butt to the senses. Further proof Agnew hasn't softened is his choice of the cover art: two shocking images of the ravages of drug use and harm inflicted on oneself and others mirror his own experiences throughout the years. Clean and sober for several years now, Agnew is a force to be reckoned with.
Available on 180 gram black vinyl for $18 and digital through
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