Song of the Day: Operation Ivy

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Hyping the Misfits on Halloween -- and a great documentary on The Ramones -- have inspired me to do a week of classic punk here on your favorite MP3 blog. Today, we look at a creative and energetic house-party punk band: Operation Ivy.

Several years after Op Ivy broke up, Rancid would become one of the most influential and commercially successful bands of the '90s punk revival. The band integrated ska, dub, jazz and other experiments into punk more creatively than anyone since The Clash. But the foundation for that sound was built in Op Ivy, where Rancid founding members Tim Armstrong and Matt Freeman cut their teeth.

Energy, a Lookout! records compilation, is one of the best single-disc retrospectives ever released and encapsulates the burst of power that defined the band's short career. It opens with "Knowledge," a gritty basement rocker, and quickly moves into the street-level politics of "Junkie's Running Dry" and the island alchemy of "Bad Town" and "Healthy Body."

This is a must-own record for anyone who even flirted with bands like the Mighty Mighty Bosstones a decade ago.