Top 20 Greatest OC Albums of All Time: #20-11
Reel Big Fish had hardly reinvented the wheel when this album landed in the middle of the third-wave ska craze in 1997. But with a dish of interesting sonic diversions into rock and reggae, the band scored big with their sophomore release--anchored by their big hit "Sell Out." Ironically, the track was blasting almost any college or alternative radio station you could think of at the time. KROQ personality Jed the Fish even appears on the kooky, immortal cover art with a gun held to his face by a very unstable female. Few third wave ska albums are as synonymous with the OC ska sound. And the fact that they've been able to hold on to their fans and stay true to the sound even though times have obviously changed says a lot about how much this material still holds up. --Nate Jackson
The first album from Orange-based OG's Agent Orange originally consisted of a mere eight songs, but these guys were the kind of band who could squeeze 100,000 joules out of a tracklist that short. If you ever want to imagine what it was like to be a hopeless wastrel of a punk in an '80s Cali wasteland, give your copy of Damaged a smoke break and fire up Living in Darkness. Ringleader Mike Palm spent Darkness repeatedly reminding you of how cruel and pointless life is while senselessly indulging in materialistic pursuits (loaded dames, good booze, joyrides) and still hoping to not die young. Match Palm's existentialist-in-training lyricism with crunchy punk rock, sharp-edged surf rock and doomed, echo-heavy background chants, and you're left with a brilliant, often overlooked artifact.--Reyan Ali
...Stay tuned for the the second half of the list (#10-1) on Monday!