THE OFFSPRING ARE BACK AFTER NINE YEARS
I honestly didn’t get The Offspring until the Dave Jerden produced Ixnay On The Hombre. Songs off of Smash were everywhere, and it honestly annoyed me. I’ve always been good like that, if something is on the radio a million times a day, I tend to hate it. Pretty dumb when you consider that I went back and forced myself to listen to Smash, and loved it, even the hits. The whole “you have to love this band” mentality has always killed me, let me form my own opinion!
So what made me fall in love with the band? The first single off of Ixnay On The Hombre, “All I Want”. The band was sold to me as one thing, but they felt like something else. “All I Want” was what was being sold to me, but instead I kept hearing “Come Out And Play”. To me, there is a huge contrast there. Had I of heard a track like “Genocide” first, I would have been sold on them in a second.
In 96 I was playing in a band with a friend of mine called Brandon Jones. We were a two-person group before that become popular, and we called ourselves The Disposables. Punk was a huge factor in what we did, and thanks to him, and my Galaxy Of Geeks co-host Chris Vaglio, I got into things like Bad Religion, Misfits, The Offspring, Rancid, and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. I remember telling Brandon “there is no other punk band out there that’s better than The Offspring”. And for a good couple of years, they were my main band when I wanted to listen to anything that was remotely punk.
In my mind, this was true up until 2003’s Splinter. I had just moved to Europe, and having only heard “Hit That” I was less than enthusiastic about picking the album up. My first trip to a store that remotely sold music, and I needed to pick something new up. One of the albums I ended up buying was Splinter.
The album ended up being solid for what it was. I still play tracks like “The Noose”, “Long Way Home”, and “(Can’t Ge My) Head Around You”. And even though they started to lean more towards pop-punk, they could still be relied on for having some straight-ahead punk rock on their albums. For me, that stopped with this album.
Nothing they’ve released is an utter pile of dung. But nothing after Splinter has connected with me like the five-album run that was Smash, Ixnay On The Hombre, Americana, Conspiracy Of One, and Splinter. Much like another band that I love, Filter, The Offspring began to chase hits after the success of “Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)” and “Why Don’t You Get A Job?”.
After Filter garnered success with “Hey Man Nice Shot”, and “Take A Picture”, every album had to have its own “Hey Man Nice Shot” with the bass intro, and a “Take A Picture” like ballad. The Offspring did the same, every album after Americana had to have the comedy radio hits. Case in point tracks like “Hit That”, and on the new album “Let The Bad Times Roll”, as well as “We Never Have Sex Anymore”. Again, not bad songs, but songs I’ll more than likely always skip over.
To further my belief that they’re pushing for the proverbial radio hug is that these two songs are the only ones that Josh Freese plays on the entire album. The final nail in the coffin for me is the new rendition of “Gone Away” which was originally on Ixnay On The Hombre. What’s the point? When Bad Religion released a stripped-down piano version of “Faith Alone” it was because the lyrics echoed the political climate in the U.S. The new music that accompanied the track further pushed the elements of sorrow and despair that the track’s lyrics possessed. I can’t help but think this version of “Gone Away” once again is there to try and get on some movie soundtrack and ultimately radio.
The album starts out great, with three of the first four songs easily making it onto my Offspring playlist. But the album becomes forgettable after that. There are 12 tracks here, but there are three tracks that are immediate skips to me, without considering the two comedy tracks. “Gone Away”, “In The Hall Of The Mountain King” and “Lullaby” are tracks I doubt I’ll ever listen to again. The other songs on the album are all just kind of there. They feel like a band parodying themselves, and much like with everything post Splinter, a band filling out space on an album, and trying to just see what sticks.
To me, this is a stark reminder of why certain bands should just put out EPs. Why force yourself to put out a certain number of songs? I love this band, but nine years for some of these tracks is sort of head-scratching. Then again, the EP would just contain “Let The Bad Times Roll”, “We Never Have Sex Anymore”, “Gone Away” and “In The Hall Of The Mountain King”!
The band has been around long enough to do whatever they want. Obviously having a huge commercial hit will help heat the pool among other things. If you’re a die-hard fan, you’re going to check this album out regardless of what I’ve mentioned above. And so you should, you should form your own opinion on the album. If you’ve never been a fan, I doubt this is the album that changes your mind about the band!
Here is The Offspring with the title track off of their latest album Let The Bad Times Roll.
Interested in finding out what makes my Offspring playlist?
Pick your poison, check out my Offspring playlist on either Spotify or Apple Music here.
HERE ARE SOME OTHER NEW RELEASES THAT MAY INTEREST YOU
Cannibal Corpse – Violence Unimagined
Greta Van Fleet – The Battle Of Garden’s Gate
Escape The Fate – Chemical Warfare
Liquid Tension Experiment – LTE3
Marty Friedman – Tokyo Jukebox 3
The Vintage Caravan – Monuments
While She Sleeps – Sleeps Society
Bewitcher – Cursed Be Thy Kingdom
Endseeker – Mount Carcass
Icon Of Sin – Icon Of Sin
Intonate – Severed Within
Temple Balls – Pyromide
Wednesday 13 – Necrophaze – Antidote
August Burns Red – Guardians Sessions
Black Orchid Empire – Live In The Studio
Exhorder – Slaughter In The Vatican Vinyl
Tokyo Blade – Night Of The Blade
Support the site and the bands you love by picking up any of the albums listed above.
Here are the various Amazon stores I am affiliated with: US, Canada, UK, Germany, France, and Spain. When you make a purchase via one of my Amazon Affiliate links, know that I may be eligible to receive a small kickback for any purchase I send their way. You don’t pay anything else, while I make a small profit. Win/win for everyone!