What’s he saying??

Yellin’ In My Ear – Operation Ivy from Operation Ivy

A little history since a lot of people probably don’t know this band, and rightfully so.  Formed in Berkeley in 1987, they came and went within 2 years.  So how does a kid on the East Coast find out about a band that put out one full length when he was a freshman in high school, in the pre-internet days.  The old fashioned way.  A friend’s older sister.  He got it from her, and passed it along to me.  I think it was first “punk” experience, though they are tinged with ska influences for sure.  Think Mighty Mighty Bosstones but faster (and better, sorry, I never really liked MMB).  It was something fresh for me, and I really liked the whole thing, 27 blips of songs, the longest clocking in at 2:44.

“Yellin’ In My Ear” is only 1:33 seconds long.  So how could this rate as an outstanding song?  Well, it’s not cause of the lyrics, cause to this day I still can’t make out most of what the lead singer is saying minus the title of the track and a few other lines.  I’m not a huge lyrics guy, so that’s not a disqualifier from greatness for me.  But that’s not to say they didn’t have some funny and intelligent lyrics, which they did.  This just wasn’t one of those songs.  Instead, it’s the energy pulsing through the track that keeps me coming back.  Drums and bass flailing away, a short but rockin’ 10 second guitar “solo” around the 1 minute mark.  The lead vocals are just kinda along for the ride, sitting shotgun to a 16 year old taking out his dad’s sports car.  Before he slams it into a wall and the car, and the song, are over.

Two other things on Operation Ivy.  Two members, most famously Tim Armstrong, later formed the band Rancid which had some modest success in the 90s following the lead of Green Day and the Offspring.  Second, see the cool album cover above.  The aforementioned friend got a tattoo of the guy leaping off the cover in high school.  He got it with some sort of blue ink and it ended up looking like a dolphin to me.  I always thought of that whenever I was tempted to get a tat.  And thus I’m ink-free.

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