The Agency
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The Agency

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"The Agency - Will Skank For Food (review)"

Of all the shows I’ve been to at the Foundation, here in Barrie, my most enjoyable memories remain in the hands of The Agency. This ska six-piece can rock that small feeble venue to pieces. Punk rock and ska fans alike unite, and nobody can dispute the fact that they had a great time. Whether you were skankin’ your little arse off or standing to the side admiring their magnificent stage antics, you were filled with extreme excitement and awe. So of course when I heard word that The Agency would be releasing their debut full length, Will Skank for Food, I skittered to the nearest source to get my hands on a copy.

Now, having the disc in my possession for about 4 months, I decided it was time to review this sucker. This conventional record startles senses, blends warm fuzzy feelings with fist pumping violence, and really attacks your ears with the highly energetic manner that The Agency have always mastered. Right from the intro, The Agency has started off on the right foot. The first song, “Burnout”, confronts you with trumpeting and trombone eloquence. The tingly guitar shimmies in the shadows of Andy’s stimulating vocals. On the third track, “Pick it Up”, the drums and bass banter in a circle-pitting fashion. This song offers more melody and shows the diversity displayed on this CD. Another thing to mention is the lyrical talent. “We won't play your game, and we think it's time to act your age, but you say it twice now kick him in the face. His face can't take much more of this” is a line from “Here in the Den”–a song about gender confused kids. Track 4, “Shot in the Dark”, states, “You’re spewing lies, as the bullshit runs out of your mouth. You walk around with the camera holding you down. You never cared ‘till now it’s just a shot in the dark to hope that you’ll do what’s right”. Well The Agency did more than a few things right on this release. “The Old Vines”, track 12 is a lovely acoustic side of the boys, sending me the fever of listening to some Rancid. These 14 tracks will not bore you; the least they will do is get stuck in your head for a few weeks. Fans of Big D & the Kids Table could easily catch on to these snappy beats. The Agency has managed to showcase their brilliance on this disc without missing a beat!


1.) DO NOT listen to this record on the bus or in class at school…hazardous risk of attacking fellow civilians, due to the extreme build-up of high-energy output.

2.) DO NOT miss The Agency when they play in your town. I personally promise you a kick ass time.

3.) DO go out and get this CD! It is made for the likes of everyone and you have no reason to be missing out!

Review by: Sari Delmar -

"THE AGENCY bare it all!"

Vortex Magazine, February 2005
By Luigi Primerano

What do you get when you take the ashes of a street punk trio named "Tried It" and the post humus remains of ska/punk outfit "Poindexter"? I'll tell you what you get, you get: "The Agency", a hardcore ska outfit hailing from Barrie, ontario, Canada. Comprised of Agents Andy - Lead Vox, Fred - Bass, Murray - Guitar, Shawn - Drums, Earl - Trumpet and Agent McBride on trombone. The agents are on the cusp of releasing their debut album aptly entitled "Will Skank for Food". In the following article you will get a few juicy tidbits on what makes this dedicated six piece tick and talk! The agents will be unveiling their new work at a free CD release party at the Foundation Nightclub on Wednesday, March 16th. Joining them will be an allstar ensemble you don't want to miss, featuring the likes of "Jerrycan" from Orangeville and G7 Welcoming Committee recording artists "GFK" based out of Quebec. Make sure to show your support when it counts most!

Luigi: I don't do interviews. How about I just press record and we shoot the crap?
Fred: That sounds like a great plan. Are you sure you haven’t done this before?
Luigi: Who am I talking to and where are we?
Andy: I’m Agent Andy and we’re at One Star Studios.
Fred: I’m Agent Fred… No wait, am I supposed to read from the card marked “jokes” or “answers”?
Luigi: How old are you guys?
Andy: I’m 21.
Fred: Old.
Luigi: So you guys have a new album coming out soon, how much are you going to sell it for and how many tracks are on it?
Andy: $5 for 14 tracks. Completely professionally recorded, mastered and packaged. It will be available for purchase at Big John’s Records on March 8.
Luigi: What’s the name of the album? Any stories behind it?
Andy: “Will Skank for Food”. It basically means that The Agency will skank for food, which is kinda what we hope to do, play ska for a living. The idea also developed from an image we imagined of Agent McBride holding a slice of pizza and skanking.
Luigi: Do you have any new material in the works that will not be on this album?
Fred: Anything not on the album was put aside for the moment so we could fine tune these songs.
Andy: We’ll continue writing when we complete this CD. That’s one of the greatest things about being in this band, I find, we never stop writing new music. Ideas are always flowing.
Luigi: Do you have a set direction as to where you want to go with this new stuff?
Fred: Along the same lines as before. Continue to experiment by mixing in some other genres and whatnot, and focus more than ever on not sucking.
Andy: Nothing is carved in stone; we keep our music open to new ideas and possibilities. I don’t think any of us could have foreseen what our music would have turned into a year and a half ago.
Luigi: If you could play a gig with any band, which would it be?
Fred: The first band that comes to mind is the Heatskores. They kick so much ass. We’re playing with them at Punks Against Racism in Newmarket in April but that’s more of a festival deal with like 57 billion bands. I’d like to get a show up here with them. Of course, something like the Suicide Machines or Mad Caddies would make me shit my pants, but the Heatskores are first on the list for me.
Andy: Jeez, that’s tough. There are a lot of bands I would love to share the stage with. I’d love to play with Break the Silence again; those guys were extremely rad. summercollides are a great band that I love playing with. I’d love to play with Boy Sets Fire or Streetlight Manifesto.
Luigi: Is there anyone who you aspire to work with.
Fred: Willy Wonka seemed like a guy I’d like to work with. He wasn’t all about safety, practicality or sanitary food production. He knew how to have fun. Plus I’d like to meet one of those Oompa Loompa fellows. I have a feeling if I met them they wouldn’t scare the shit out of me anymore. Recently James Cavan, the manager of Jerrycan, has shown us a lot of support. First they split their winnings at the Pop Suicide Records band wars with us a few months back, and then they bring GFK (G7 Welcoming Committee) to our CD release at their expense. Jerrycan and James are some of the nicest guys I’ve met, so I’d love to work with them all in the future.
Andy: Anyone who is willing to work hard and get results.
Luigi: When do you feel most comfortable?
Andy: When I’m naked. No, just joking. Drinking Corona’s in the sun. I love warm weather. This place is too damn cold.
Fred: On the can. Unless it’s a really uncomfortable one. Like that cushy padded stuff, it doesn’t really make a toilet more comfortable, it just hold the ass heat from the last person who used it. I don’t know what those crazy toilet folk are thinking sometimes.
Luigi: What is in your CD player right now?
Andy: The Cure
Luigi: If you couldn’t play music, what would you be?
Fred: A rhinoceros. Those thinks will fuck you up.
Andy: Can I be a fire truck? Honestly, I would be a writer.
Luigi: Where do you thi - Vortex Magazine


2004 - "Will Skank for Food demo"
Three tracks recorded independently prior to the full length as a sampler to hand out at shows.
1. Here in the Den
2. The Persistence of Memory
3. Fallon's Dead

2005 - "Will Skank for Food"
14 track full length record includes re-recorded versions of the 3 demo tracks. Selling for $5.
1. Intro
2. Burnout
3. Pick it Up
4. Shot in the Dark
5. Fallon's Dead
6. Alive
7. Blown Away
8. All in a Day's Work
9. The Persistence of Memory
10. So Blind
11. Here in the Den
12. The Old Vines
13. Room to Breate
14. Hide or Seek



The Agency
A six-piece ska/punk act, The Agency began in the fall of 2003 in their hometown of Barrie, ON based on a love of ska, punk and beer. The Agency consists of Andy Goetz (vocals), Scott Murray (guitar), Fred Burgess (bass), Matt McBride (trombone), Earl Niemann (trumpet) and Shawn Moreau (drums), and are an average age of 22. The band essentially formed from the ashes of two previous local favourites, but the first musical group formed from the bunch was even before that.
Fred, Murray and Matt formed a band called IFC in mid high school (2000) with singer Mike Tobin, with Matt playing drums. IFC did about half covers and some originals, and played a few shows but eventually began to change as high school ended. Fred left IFC in 2001 to join punk rock outfit Tried It with drummer Shawn and singer/guitarist Mickey Cardoni. Meanwhile, Mike Tobin was replaced by Andy Goetz and Fred’s spot on bass was filled by Ryan Seed. Under this new line-up, IFC changed their name to Poindexter, the second of the two bands mentioned earlier.
Poindexter began playing fast paced ska and punk, and over the time from 2000-2003 recorded the “Stand Up for Yourself” EP, as well as played many shows including a series of shows leading them to the college-based Ontario battle of the bands finals. During the same time, Tried It recorded a self-titled EP as well as a full length entitled “…so far undecided”. They also played shows around the area, playing with bands such as Live on Release, Jersey, and the River City Rebels, and even venturing off to Quebec and various places around Ontario on three separate tours.
After all this, The Agency was ready to be formed. Tried It called it quits in the summer of 2003, around the same time Poindexter’s bassist, Ryan, left for school. Seeing an opportunity to expand on Poindexter’s ska influence plans were made to create an all out ska act with the remains of the two now-defunct bands. Fred joined in and filled the bass position, Matt stepped away from the drum kit and picked up the trombone he’d played in high school band, and Shawn in turn took over drum duties. Andy is still on vocals; Murray remains on guitar. Enter Earl, a long time friend of everyone who just happens to have played trumpet years before. He grabbed a cheap trumpet to get things going and went from rusty to pro in a few practices. The Agency now had all their members exactly where they are in the band today.
The songs that began flowing from the six were an aggressive breed of ska crossed with much punk and even hardcore influences. Having been in bands before, The Agency set out to do things right this time. Before playing any shows, they recorded a 3 song demo featuring songs which would later be included on the full length record “Will Skank For Food,” already in the planning stages. The demo was handed out for free at The Agency’s first show in March of 2004 at a local club where they played with Winnipeg ska band The Barrymores, and instantly created a stir in the city of Barrie.
Throughout 2004 The Agency continued with shows in Barrie and around Ontario with bands such as Bombs Over Providence, Closet Monster, The Miniatures, The Flatliners, The Afterbeat, The Cheap Suits, Inner City Surfers, The Operators, Pridebowl, Jerrycan and Break the Silence. The year ended with The Agency winning a second place prize in a local band wars tournament. This, as well as Jerrycan’s generous donation of half their first place prize, made the new record affordable. They began its recording in February of 2005.
2005 brought first the new record and then an abundance of shows, so far more than twice as many as the previous year, and covering much more territory. The CD release show packed the 300-capacity Foundation Night Club in Barrie on March 16. From there, The Agency went on to play around Ontario with more big names: Youthinasia, The Heatskores, The Turbo AC’s, Million Dollar Marxists, Farewell to Freeway, The Divine, Dead Letter Dept., The Brat Attack, fellow agents the Angry Agency, General Rudie, and Catch 22. The summer brought “Skankin’ for Dimes”, a tour of Ontario with Over the Top, The Red Rockets and Explosure. The tour took The Agency and crew through 8 shows in 8 days in the latter part of August: London, Cambridge, East Caledon, Guelph, Barrie, Toronto, Sarnia (where The Agency was invited to stay and play a second night).
That brings us to the present. The Agency is now working on new material with which they intend to complete another full length record as soon as next year. Constantly looking to play shows, make friends, drink some beer and play even more shows, The Agency brings with them a full line of merch and a full length record - all produced completely independently. The Agency will continue to expand indefinitely until stopped by death or perhaps some sort of large impenetrable force-field.