Operation Ivy (2007 Remaster)

Operation Ivy

Operation Ivy (2007 Remaster)

Operation Ivy existed for only two years, from May 1987 to May 1989, but they have since become one of the most influential American punk bands. They eschewed the tuneless assault of hardcore, and instead delivered an update on the formula of the Clash: melodic punk rock, inflected with Jamaican rhythm and brimming with political passion and youth-oriented sincerity. Operation Ivy recorded one EP, one LP, and a handful of compilation tracks — all of which is contained in this eponymous collection — but that was enough to set the stage for bands like Green Day and Rancid. By now, “pop-punk” and “ska-punk” have become generic clichés, but Operation Ivy’s music still sounds remarkably fresh and vital. Because they formed before the codification of either of those genres, their music transcends those categorizations. All punk-rock righteousness aside, “Knowledge,” “Sound System” and “Unity” are flat-out-great rock ‘n’ roll songs. Those are the band’s anthems, but don’t overlook lesser-known gems, including “Bankshot,” “Smiling,” “Missionary,” and “Big City.”

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