Retro Review: Operation Ivy

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Tim “Lint’ Armstrong of Operation Ivy

Operation Ivy was a short-lived ska-punk band from Berkeley, California during the 1980’s. The band members consisted of Jesse Michaels on vocals, Tim “Lint” Armstrong on guitar, Matt “McCall” Freeman on bass, and Dave Mello on drums. They released their first and only studio album titled “Energy” in 1989.  Near the end of the 80’s, punk was considered dead. “Energy“ was like a breath of fresh air for the punk community. This album was the spark of the ska-punk movement.

“Energy” was originally released exclusively on vinyl and cassettes, but was later remastered and released in 1991 on CD. The album contains 19 rambunctious, fast, punk tunes that keep you listening for hours on end. A common theme relayed throughout the album is unity and equality. There are quite a few songs that talk about the fact that everyone needs to have each other’s back and it does not matter what the color of your skin is, what religion you are, or even your gender, we are all one and the same.  

This is one of the greatest punk albums ever released. I have watched countless documentaries about the punk rock scene and just about every band that is featured talks about what an inspiration Operation Ivy was. I have been listening to punk rock my entire life and when I first heard this record I was blown away. One song in particular that caught my attention was “Sound System”. The song talks about how when life knocks you down music is the one thing that can build you back up again.

Sadly Operation Ivy is no longer a band and have not been since 1989. However, Tim Armstrong and Matt Freeman formed another punk band called Rancid and are still around today. So if you decide to check out Operation Ivy, definitely give Rancid a listen as well


About the Author

Dylan Boyer
Dylan is a junior and this is his first year apart of the BlueXpress staff. He enjoys skateboarding and playing drums.