One time a few years ago I was at a bar in midtown Phoenix, chatting up some random girl when she took out her wallet and handed me a business card. I thought maybe she was giving me her number, but when I looked at the card it was completely blank…all except for the words “STOP TALKING,” which were printed in bold lettering. I may or may not have gotten the message.
Anyway, I only reopened that wound today because STOP TALKING is the name of a new single from NorCal punk artist, A G E N T (who also has a full live band.) A G E N T is apparently influenced by local legends like Green Day. Thankfully, STOP TALKING bears more resemblance to early 90’s Green Day like Kerplunk and 1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours, when the band was at its finest, truly a golden age. Though the vocals remind me more of NOFX or Folk Implosion.
However, this song really has a lot more going on creatively than the first 45 seconds would let on. It actually kind of breaks off in this really cool way into a kind of avant garde performance piece. Taking a dreamlike, psychedelic turn with groovin’ reverbed out guitar sounds and vocal declarations of insanity, ( “You Smoke Too Much…”) the whole thing becomes rather surreal. The song concludes poignantly with the playing of a voicemail box recording.
I was expecting something more like a straghtforward punk jam, but this song pleasantly surprises with its artfulness. Even as the song seems to have a structural mind of its own, the music never suffers. Listenability isn’t sacrificed for the sake of making a weird artistic statement. STOP TALKING revels in its unpredictability. Production on this track is organic and has that warm, analog, 90s indie feel, like it was recorded by someone who didn’t have the most expensive gear but still knew what they were doing.
A G E N T has also recently released an album called SUMMON THE JUICES, which is probably worth checking out just based on the title alone.
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