The Vandals are an American punk rock band, established in 1980 in Orange County, California. They have released ten full-length studio albums, two live albums, and have toured the world extensively, including performances on the Vans Warped Tour. They are well known for their use of humor, preferring to use their music as a vehicle for comedy and sarcasm rather than as a platform for more serious issues. As of 2000, they are signed to Kung Fu Records. The band’s lineup fluctuated significantly over their first nine years, though founding members Steven Ronald Jensen, guitarist Jan Nils Ackermann, and first consistent drummer Joe Escalante remained regular fixtures. Of the early members, only Escalante has remained through all subsequent incarnations of the band. The current lineup of Escalante, Dave Quackenbush, Warren Fitzgerald, and Josh Freese has remained intact since 1990 and is generally considered far removed from the band’s early 1980s incarnation. Since 2002 Escalante has released all of the band’s albums through his Kung Fu Records label, with Fitzgerald generally producing. Here are all of The Vandals albums ranked.
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10. Slippery When Ill (1988)
“It’s the Vandal’s odd sense of humor mixed in with older style county music. I actually find it pretty interesting CD, but it is one that is rarely pulled out because the novelty of it tends to wear out quickly upon repeated listens. Some of the songs on this just have a so stupid it’s funny feel to them, such as “Clowns are experts(at making people laugh)”, while some others seem to actually try to make a descent, yet still parodying the genre, song(“Gator Hides”, “In America”). All in all, this is a fun little CD, but listen to it on occasion, not repeatedly.”
9. The Quickening (1996)
“In the punk commmunity, opinions seem to be divided over whether or not The Vandals remained any good after Stevo was out and Dave Quackenbush took his place as vocalist. Not only that, but Joe Escalante (who is also the current primary songwriter) switched from drums to bass. Personally, I like everything they’ve done up to and including “Hitler Bad, Vandals Good”. The albums after that are all mixed bags, but yeah. ALL THAT BEING SAID, this is probably the best 90s Vandals album.”
8. Fear Of A Punk Planet (1991)
“Fear of a Punk Planet” by the Vandals is by all accounts a punk anthem and a definate classic. With funny songs and great guitar by Warren “Mutant Boy” Fitzgerald (whom’s father is actually a rocket scientist), the Vandals pump alot of energy into this album and it shows when you listen the the fast-paced hilarious songs that the Vandals have recorded.”
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7. Hollywood Potato Chip (2004)
“This LP is exactly what you think The Vandals should be. This is one of their best albums to date as far as I’m concerned. If you have any inclination to listen to punk music make this cd your first buy. This band is an all-star cast including drummer Josh Freise, who has many accalodes including “drummer of the year”.
6. Peace Thru Vandalism (1982)
“For better or for worse. Love a band who encourages and respects great heckling. The Vandals and Dead Milkmen may contain pop culture references that could be lost on younger listeners, but lyrics to songs like the Cowboy Song will forever remain relevant.”
5. Live Fast, Diarrhea (1995)
“A rather twisted punk rock album, but with great energy and a hilarious political incorrectness to them. Materialwise as for the sound it’s kind of old meets new, very straight forward at all points. But at the same time I did note a bunch of “borrowed” riff/lick combinations here and there. Humorous, but really wellplayed and presented with a nice attitude. Solid album.”
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4. When In Rome Do As The Vandals (1984)
“This is a decent, fun punk record with a few tracks that are considered classics to this day. For instance, the opener “Lady Killa” is probably among the very first songs to mix punk rock with rap and scratching. It’s a joke song, but it’s pretty entertaining. “Master Race (In Outer Space)” is an amusing, thrashy jab at nazis. And “Mohawk Town” incorporates a western sound in to the mix, with accoustic guitars and a silly little story about a punk and a skinhead that butt heads in a saloon. The skinhead is the marshall and the punk is the outlaw. Marshall Skin ends up shooting and killing the punk, Mohawk John.”
3. Christmas With The Vandals: Oi To The World (1996)
“It breathed new life into Rock and kept it exciting. I love odd holiday music, and this is as about as odd as it gets! I’m sure the Vandals are really nice boys, who know a thing or 2 about music-just listen to their arrangements-and if they just cleaned up their naughty words and presented themselves more formally, why, they might be as popular as the Osmonds. But then, i wouldn’t like them as much, so i hope they keep doing what they’re doing ’cause it seems to be working. Every other reviewer has hit the highs and lows of this, so suffice it to say, it’s cheap, it’s fun, It will anger your parents….what’s not to love?”
2. Hitler Bad, Vandals Good (1998)
“The Vandals are some of the funniest guys ever. I like the way they avoid the topic of polotics(i.e. They do mention the government in “If the government could read my mind”. They just write about the stupid things that pop in their heads or they witness in their everyday lives. This band is lighthearted and jovial all while keeping up a tremendous amount of energy and firing an arsenal of endless catchy punk riff’s. This album is my second favorite vandals next to The Quickening. I have yet to here their new one.”
1. Look What I Almost Stepped In… (2000)
“Amazing. I wanted this album as I’m a massive bad religion fan and Brooks stepped into Josh’s shoes for this record. Both fantastic drummers. From the start with “behind the music” this album just has you gripped, musically complex but not so busy you’ve no idea what’s coming next, catchy, melodic and well written punk tunes. I love “flowers are pretty” a funny song but also just musically brilliant. I bought a handful of albums last week and this one has hardly left my stereo, great piece of work”