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Balboa Fun Zone

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Album Review

There are those who feel that an Adolescents record without Tony Cadena (aka Tony Adolescent, Tony Montana and, later in the reformed ADZ, Tony Reflex) isn't worthy of the name, but 1988's Balboa Funzone is entertaining despite his absence. Guitarist Rikk Agnew and bassist Steve Soto take on vocal and songwriting duties, separately, giving the album an appealingly varied sound that ranges from the anthemic rocker "Just Like Before," to the engagingly loose, Johnny Thunders-like "It's Tattoo Time." Best of the lot are the two entirely different tunes named after the album title, the smoking hardcore "Balboa Funzone (Riot at the Beach)," and the much poppier, '60s-inspired "Balboa Funzone (It's in Your Touch)." Worst of the lot is a sloppy, basically pointless cover of John Lennon's "Instant Karma." Although there's little that truly stands out besides Agnew's anti-drug anthem "Alone Against the World," the album is so consistently rocking and good-humored that it's a more entertaining listen than their uneven earlier records.


Formed: 1980 in Fullerton, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

One of Southern California's best-loved hardcore bands, the Adolescents helped establish the blueprint for Orange County punk, along with Agent Orange and Social Distortion. Although their music was the most standard-issue of the three, the Adolescents' blazing energy and quintessential teenage snottiness gave them an instant connection with their audience, and defied their upbringing in California's bastion of staid conservatism. Their original lineup was only together briefly, and the majority...
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Balboa Fun Zone, Adolescents
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