RIKK AGNEW BAND: Learn: LP

Listening to Rikk’s latest album—his first for Frontier since his first solo effort, All By Myself—is to take a veritable master class from one of the primary architects of the prototypical Southern California/O.C. punk rock sound. Everything that made bands like D.I., Adolescents, Social Distortion, Detours— hell, pretty much any band he’s come within three feet of—can be found pressed into the grooves here: dual-octave leads, odd time signatures, killer hooks, and monster choruses. To be fair, some of the lyrical content is spotty in places, but even given that you end up finding yourself tossing away the lyric sheet and resisting the urge to just go off, thanks in no small part to the backup band he’s working with, who are well-versed in what makes this style pop. A mighty fine album from greeting to parting. –Jimmy Alvarado (Frontier)