Thursday, June 22, 2017

Ranking the Offspring albums when I was 15

"I saw them live in Manchester in January on their 2001 European Tour, and those guys kicked some ass" - Me, apparently

Bit too busy to compare 100+ short stories this month, so I've invited my more eager, younger self from half a lifetime ago to share his enthusiastic, falsely confident, needlessly long opinions about one of the only bands he's ever listened to. The other band was Nirvana, who are used as the only point of comparison throughout.

This is what the absence of anxiety of influence looks like. I only [cruelly annotated] these when strictly necessary, but I didn't bother proofreading, since I didn't pay me for that. I only earned a few pence from writing these reviews for, and I'm going to need those when I discover angsty nu metal soon.

6. Ignition ***

Written on 12.06.2001

Often the most overlooked album, "Ignition" was the Offspring's second album, released in 1992. The first two labums were produced while the Offspring were still a relatively underground band, and as such the sound quality is poorer than on their later albums, but as for content the album is, for me, on par with the self-titled album and their two most recent ones, "Americana" and "Conspiracy of One." I don't think the Offspring actually have a "worst" album. [So why did you give this three stars and all the rest five?]

The album ends up coming in a little short (at about thirty seven minutes), but is worth buying if you feel the need for some older punk rock music. [1992: the birth of punk.] I don't know if it's worth buying for full price (unless you're a dedicated fan), but I've often seen it in sales for around £7.99 if you want to treat yourself sometime.

The first song, "Session", begins after singer Bryan "Dexter" Holland shouts some obscenities into a microphone, and is the story of a man whose relationship revolves solely around sex. In context it reminds me of "Smash"'s hit single "Self Esteem", and the song is still played live today (it was the only track they played off this album when I saw them live in January). The song is very good and energetic, and is a good way to start the album (it was also co-written). ("Oh here I go, I go again- these rendezvous never seem to end. Know where I'll be, make this confession- back in her room for another goddamn session!")

Track two ("We Are One") is about a group of people who stick together through thick and thin. It's a slow song to balance out most of the speedy, loud rock of the album, and is good to listen to. ("We are one and it won't be news when we hang ourselves in one collective noose.")

Track three is pure old school punk [I'd read that in a review somewhere, what did I know?], "Kick Him When He's Down", and is the story of someone who is down on his luck and wants to live life how he wants it, away from the public. ("When the rain comes I sit home and pray. Make it all numb- I wish it all away. All I really need is just somewhere to hide away.") It's not a very good song in my opinion, but offers a change.

"Take It Like a Man" is about someone who cannot do anything by himself, and lacks any sense of self-dependance. It's got a cool riff and sounds great. ("Shut up and take it like a man. You need us to get a life. For your own good we'll take you by the hand, 'cause you need a little more.")

Track five is one of the best on the album, "Get it Right." It's the story of someone who can never get "it" right, whatever that refers to, and cannot accomplish "it." [Insightful.] It sounds cool and stats off great, with another good riff. ("I'll look out the window then look in the mirror- the same old me again. Still can't get it right...")

The Offspring have been knownn to sound like Nirvana on occasion, but "Dirty Magic" just takes the biscuit. A very grunge-a-like song, it talks about a man whose partner is unpredictable. One minute she'll be asking him over, and the next mocking him. The chorus also sounds very similar to the later song "Have You Ever" off "Americana." ("Her little soul is stolen, see her put on her brand new face.")

The second half of the album starts with "Hypodermic", a song about drug abuse and how people can find their peace with needles. [15-year-old's summation of the drug problem.] It's quite good, but there's nothing original about the tune. ("When you're feeling low, hypodermic's where yuo go.")

"Burn It Up" is basically the album's title track, and reverts to the old rock style of play a line, sing a line for the most part. It seems to be the album's token comedy song, and is about a pyromaniac who can't get enough of burning stuff. [Tautology.] It's quite good, but not one of the album's finest. ("I'll drive on by your yard, throw a molotov cocktail at your car, and another one in the local bar.")

The song with the greatest meaning on the album is track nine, "No Hero", in which Dexter sings about feeling useless about not being able to stop his friend "Johnny" from taking his own life. It was thought that he was singing about his wife's death, but she actually died in a car crash along with his daughter (which is what later single "Gone Away" is about). This song is very good, and a favourite for guitar players. ["i.e my friend Sam."]

Track ten, "L.A.P.D.", begins slowly and gradually builds up with a bass and drum beat before bursting into what is my favourite song on the album. The controversial melody talks about the fascism inherent in the L.A.P.D., with the line "beat all the niggers." [Whoa, boy! You were coy about the "obscenities" in track one, but this one just comes straight out, doesn't it?] The song is one of the few the band play live on their "Huck It!" home video, and it is definitely worthy of such an honour, as it is a cool song.

"Nothing From Something" is another really good song, and is about finding pleasure and pastime in self-mutilation. [It's not only pleasurable; it passes the time too.] It's got a great guitar tune, and great lyrics. ("Shattered glass will cure my ills and make me feel alright.")

The final track, "Forever and a day", always reminds me of the soundtrack to eighties TV shows with its initial riff, and is one of the album's low points. It is about wanting one's own views, and not conforming to the system, but isn't very good. [Didn't bother to include a lyric this time.]

Overall, definitely not worth the disses the album has received [Generally regarded as one of their best] - writing this opinion has only made me appreciate it more.

5. The Offspring *****

Written on 21.06.2001

The Offspring formed in 1984, and are my favourite band ever. [They're only the second music act I had any enthusiasm for, after that one song by Jilted John on my dad's 70s compilation.] I've got all their albums, loads of singles, the video, clothes... but their modern style is much different and more clean-cut than the rebellious, anti-government, anti-police, anti-almost everything style they began with.

The band formed in 1984 in Orange County, LA (with some different members than today), but by 1989 (the time that they recorded this album for the first time on the Nemesis Records label) the band was as it is now: Bryan "Dexter" Holland (vocals- he didn't play guitar on the albums in them days), Kevin "Noodles" Wasserman (guitar), Greg "Greg K" Kriesel (Bass) and Ron Welty on drums. The album took a while to sell, and by the time the band hit it big time in 1994 (with their fantastic album "Smash") Dexter and Greg decided to re-release this first albu m on CD, to allow fans to hear their music without having to buy expensive, poor quality bootleg vinyl.

Compared to their modern music the songs on the first album are very gritty, and sometimes not played completely to perfection, with the occasional unnecessary guitar solo or instrumental piece (these small factors were filtered out when they joined Epitaph in 1992 for their second album, but don't sound that bad here). [Observations I was interested to read online and decided to pass off as my own.]

Basically, the Offspring (or "Manic Subsidal" as they were originally known) realised that all punk bands of the eighties were singing about war, the government, rape, the police and insanity [Citation needed], so their first two albums (especially this album with songs like "Tehran", "Jennifer Lost the War" and the infamous "Kill the President") are quite controversial in some respects. But it's a damn fine album, if not their best. (I actually prefer it to the second album, "Ignition.")

The album starts with "Jennifer Lost the War", a song about the rape of young children in the modern world. [Goddamned modern world!] It begins with a guitar solo, and is pretty damn good (among the best on the album). The drumming is prominent, and the guitarring does get up to a lot of rather unneccessary mucking about, but the lyrics are certainly the most prominent factor of the song, with their poweful meanings written by Dexter, the valedictorian genius vocalist (his intellect is the reason for his nickname "Dexter"). ("I guess we're all just soldiers- she was only six years old. Left to die by strangers, her family waits.")

"Elders" begins strongly and without time to pause and reflect upon the last song. It's another cool song, and has a good chorus. The lyrics are about how the world is always said to be great and without flaw, and how you realise the truth (and the fact that your parents have lied to you) when you grow up and see the true evils apparent all around you. ("When we were younger there always seemed like some, some perfect mold that we're supposed to be. But now we're growing up and I see it's just not that way, now I feel like someone's lied to me.")

The third track, "Out on Patrol", deals with the issue of war, and of how innocent, young people are killed "for their country" before they have a chance to experience life. It begins with an acousticcy-sounding riff before exploding into action, and is a pretty good song- Dexter's voice is at its most angry in this song, among others. ("Look at you soldier boy now with that big gun in your little hand.")

One of my favourites on the album, "Crossroads" has a pretty slow start before it gets going, and has great vocals and guitar work. The song is about losing a love, and being led away, trying to find your way back. ("Find that path alone, crossroads lead me away, but that's not what worries me, I just want to know what's home.")

One of the worst on the album is "Demons" (subtitled "A Mexican Fiesta") which is basically Dexter singing maniacally about sacrificing a soul to the Devil. It's the only song by the band that seems to take such issues seriously, but I don't think it's that good. The vocals are sang well, in a different style, but I don't think much of the tune compared to the band's other albums, but it is quite long- some songs on this album come a bit short. ("You are my offering, your soul transcends the centuries of pain. Your misery in life is your ecstasy in death.")

The most well-known song off the album is "Beheaded", the story of an insane person who is obsessed with decapitation. He has cut the heads off his mum, dad, girlfriend, and still wants more. It's purely for comedy, and contains a laughable display of complesx words [< Like that one?] from the pen of Dexter and co-writer James Lilja (one of Dexter's brainy kin, possibly?) The song was adapted into "Beheaded 1999", a new recording used for the 1999 comedy/horror teen film "Idle Hands", in which Dexter is killed after performing this song and another. The tune's great, but the afore-mentioned lyrics are what make this the album's finest offering. ("Watch my girlfriend come to the door, chop off her head, she falls to the floor. Watchin' my baby's jugular flow really makes my motor go.") The song goes slow for one point that's not as good but does add a bit of variation, before returning for a final farewell chorus. (Like you're not going to listen to it again as soon as the album's finished).

Track seven, "Tehran", takes a while to get started (with fifteen minus seconds after "Beheaded") but it turns out to be one of the best, if not the best, songs on the album. (It's up there with the last song). Another song about war, this one seemed to be somewhat prophetic as the gulf war broke out the following year. [You're young, you're allowed to have no idea what you're talking about.] As it did, the Offspring decided to be political again (as if this album wasn't enough?) and released an underground single called "Baghdad" (which you can get off napster [Charmingly dated] and is basically another recording of this song, with "In Baghdad" replacing "In Tehran" and "We will win in Baghdad" replacing "We will win in Iran." The song has a great drum beat and great lyrics and vocals, as well as a very original guitar tune [What would I know?] that reminds me of their later single "Come Out and Play." ("The President said let it ride, Islam be damned, make your last stand in Tehran.")

"A Thousand Days" seems like a very random song, but I have learned to love it after a few listens. It's about a couple who have hurt one another, but who still keep reaching out for one another. ("Don't ask me for a reason, I can't explain why we hurt one another again and again. As I lie bleeding here I still, I still reach for you.") I love the chorus, and the riff's pretty cool as well. It's also a nicely fast song, but nothing original here really.

"Black Ball" was released, along with the main song "I'll Be Waiting", as the Offspring's first underground single. All copies were hand-glued by the band, and they were eventually all flogged off- now incredibly rare and worth loads of money! The song has a pretty cool tune, and is the fastest song on the album. The song's got quite confusing lyrics, but appears to be on about how technology is taking over modern life. [Goddamned modern life!] ("Blackball- the new disease, Blackball- the new disease, Blackball- for a better life in this high-tech dog-eat-dog existence.") Please correct me by comment if you've deciphered the lyrics' meaning.

"I'll Be waiting" is another of my favourites off the album, but starts out sounding incredibly dodgy with a very embarrassingly-eighties riff [I don't know what that means. This was recorded in 1989, they're all eighties riffs], before going quiet and bursting into life. The song is amazing, possibly my favourite on the album (along with "Beheaded" and "Tehran"), and is about how people you consider to be your friends can betray you when the going gets tough. ("Once I had a friend that I could count on, so I thought, well so it seemed. But times of need are not enough to prove your friendship to me now.") There is a break in the song near to the end with a short instrumental session with prominent drumming before the song comes back. As I said with "Black Ball", this song was released as a rare vinyl single that was originally worth virtually bugger all but has now escalated invalue pretty far (I want one anyway).

The final track on the relatively short album begins after a drum beat which leads into a bass solo and then cool guitar riff, and is the controversial "Kill the President." ("in a world without leaders, who'd start all th wars?") A cool song, it earned the Offspring a position on an American current affairs programme, in which the TV presenter accused the band of spreading evil rumours, proceeding to stamp and smash up a copy of their vinyl album. In defiance (and possibly for the comedy of it), regular Mr. Comedy Noodles joined in and danced the LP to pieces. Ah, well done people. [Who knows if that's even true? Obviously something I just read.] This song has a cool riff, and is overlayed near the end by parting words from Dexter about the country's true enemies. A great end to a very overlooked, excellent album that just comes in a little too short (eleven tracks and about thirty one minutes).

Here are some closing words from Dexter Holland, as spoken in "Kill the President": "America, all your enemies come from within. But you lash out so it is seen like some frightened child in an angry world or the fall of Rome. Your demise comes from your own hands." [Poignant ending.]

4. Americana *****

Written on 07.06.2001

The Offspring have always been my favourite band [Always = since last year], and I love all their albums. however, I believe they have passed their peak, and with this album their style became more geared towards pop-punk.

Don't get me wrong; I love this album. It's just that compared to the band's other albums ("Smash" and "Ixnay on the Hombre") it just doesn't measure up. Many people have blamed this on the borderline pop single "Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)" which is an amzing song in its right, and the terrible "Why Don't You Get a Job?" which is, in my opinion, the worst song the band have ever done.

The album still has some amazing and loud tunes though, such as the spectacular "Have You Ever", "The Kids Aren't Alright", "Americana", "No Brakes", "The End of the Line" and "Pay the Man", although the other songs are not that much different (compared to other albums by the band, which tended to present a wide range of musical styles such as ska-punk, grunge and heavy punk). Although the only song I truly find poor is the afore-mentioned "Why Don't You Get a Job?"

This album is truly what made the Offspring widely known throughout the world. Their 1994 album "Smash" (which I have also reviewed) brought them into the punk scene, but this album allowed the band to reach much further, partially thanks to their recent move from Epitaph records to the more mainstream Columbia label. Four hit singles were released, all with highly played music videos, which all promoted the album well. The Offspring's fan base was ever widening, and set the pace for the follow up album, 2000's "Conspiracy of One."

I'm the last person to diss the offspring, or this album, but in my opinion, their decisions taken during this album's production has shown that they have passed their peak. If you truly want to buy a flawless CD, I suggest "Smash" or "Ixnay on the Hombre." But it's still a damn good and popular album (it must have been to have sold 22 million copies). [If you're saying it must have been good to sell well, you're admitting that pop music must be good then? If you're saying it must have been popular to sell well, that's a paradox.]

3. Conspiracy of One *****

Written on 01.01.2001 00:44 [party time!]

The Offspring have recently become very popular due to the release of both this album (their newest) and Americana (their 1998 album), which would usually imply that they had sold out. Well I'm afraid to admit that they have, although (as you will know if you've read my opinions on all their other albums) [This is chronologically the second review. Maybe I updated most of the others? Shame.] they are still my favourite band.

Their rise to fame after the singles "Come Out and Play" and "Self Esteem" from their third album "Smash" charted made them well known to the general punk rock public as a damn fine band, as did their less popular (but possibly better) follow-up album, "Ixnay on the Hombre." But with "Americana" they decided to opt for a more pop-punk feel to most of their songs, and released the singles "Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)"- a song that has a good riff but vocals that might as well have rapped, and "Why Don't You Get a Job?" (which is the absolute worst song the band have ever produced, and is worse than the stuff I scrape off my shoe). [I make this point five times across these reviews. Incredibly self-conscious that people might assume I like a pop song.] The album's less popular singles ("The Kids Aren't Alright" and "She's Got Issues") were both damn good [Less of the cussing, boy] songs, but were probably released through guilt. [Nothing in that paragraph was about the album being reviewed.]

By the time this album came out in late 2000, the band were widely known through many genres, and the single "Original Prankster" (possibly the worst song off this album) [More insecurity] charted once again. The next single to be released came out earlier this year, and was "Want You Bad," which is actually one of my favourite songs off the album, and I have recently seen the video to "Million Miles Away," which is also fantastic. If you ask me, "One Fine Day" is a pretty good bet for the album's fourth single (which I assume will come out later this year). [Wrong, Nostradamus! There were no more singles.]

Although this album is one of the band's poorest, there are lots of great songs, and a lot of variation in songs which is something that was (for the most part) lacking in "Americana." The album runs releatively short at forty minutes, but since the average length of Offspring songs is under three minutes, and there are thirteen songs, this is good value for money, although I believe that since "Americana" the band have begun to decline in greatness, although this album is better than the previous one overall.

The intro lasts for a record five seconds (their shortest track yet), and features Mike Love from "The Beach Boys- the Lost Concert", announcing "When we're ready to sing we step up to the microphones, and it comes out something like this".

Track two begins fantastically loudly, and is the amazing song "Come Out Swinging." An amazing tune and some prominent drumming make this song one of the album's best. The song is about someone who denies socialisation to himself, and who keeps himself from the world, seemingly against his own will. ("Midnight, no sleep, Inside, you scream to, No-one hears you fall, Daylight, prove me today.")

Track three is the light relief of "Original Prankster", a rather poor song (that features rapper Redman) but that is good for when you feel like a change. It is about a pranking kid, but I can't dislike it as the single was the first Offspring song I owned, and it was played to extinction. ("Crime crime, rockin' like Janet Reno, Time time, eighteen and life in Chino...")

"Want You Bad" is a happy, energetic song, and one of my favourites of the album, if not my very favourite. A great guitar tune accompanies the lyrics about some guy with a mild fetish for his girlfriend to be clad in leathers, and to generally be bad. It's great fun! ("I want you all tattoed, I want you bad. Complete me, mistreat me, I want you bad.")

"Million Miles Away" has a cool riff opening before the main song begins. The song is another of the best off the album, but isn't as good as "Want You Bad." The song is the tale of someone who has left home, and has now realised his folly, and wants to return. [You can see the English literature degree beckoning.] ("Been far and wide but that hole inside never really leaves. When I went away what I really left, left behind was ME."

The most popular song among owners of this album in general is fantastic, and is track six- "Dammit, I Changed Again." It's fast and exciting, and wouldn't be out of place as a Buffy the Vampire slayer soundtrack, or something of that type. The song has a great tune and great vocals, with one of the best Offspring choruses in existence. It's the story of a guy who notices the world changing around him, and who himself inevitably becomes affected every time. ("Start a fight I can't defend, one more time, dammit- I changed again.") Actually, I've just convinced myself of how great this song is- it's now my favourite off the album.

"Living in Chaos" (track seven) is an attempt to be different that I appreciate, but I don't think the song is amazing. It's a slow song that seems to be sung in Nirvana style [I clearly don't know many bands], and is about... well, living in chaos generally, where nothing makes sense. ("Somewhere along the line things get chipped away. This place keeps going down- gets a little worse every day.")

Track eight is another different song, "Special Delivery." It has a great choris which causes it to be another of my favourites (in case you haven't realised, about half the album's songs are my favourites, but it is true). [I like this admission.] The riff is cool, as are the vocals, although there is a dodgy out take from Blue Swede's "Hooked on a Feeling"- it's quite noticeable even if you don't know who they are. It's the weird caveman-style noises. The lyrics are about a demented man who watches someone every day, and is told by voices in his head to kill someone. ("It'll blow you away- you're gonna fall for me. And the voices told me to blow you away.")

Track nine is as happy as the album gets, with the incredibly fast-paced "One Fine Day," a tale about a football (or should that technically be "soccer?") game, and how to generally have a cool, law-evading day. It's a great song. ("On that day before we're through we could torch a car or two- then have ourselves another tall boy.")

Track ten is the most unoriginal song on the album, and is nothing we haven't heard before. It does have a cool tune though, and very good vocals, as well as "Smash"-reminiscent guitar squeaks. It's the tale of someone who kept quiet, even though what he knew could have prevented something from occuring. ("Deep inside secret's burning. Should have known all the while what's true.")

Track eleven is my worst on the album, and is very slow and sad. The longest song on the album at four minutes, "Denial, Revisited" is about some people who have recently split up. If you like Nirvana you should like this, even though it's not much like that band (but my friend's a huge Nirvana fan and he thinks this is the best song on the album even though he really likes regular Offspring style, so there must be some truth in my reasoning). [I think Sam's on to something.] ("And if you go I won't believe that it's forever. And you can go but I'll never leave, 'cause it's not over.")

Now if you want something that does sound like it's ripped off Nirvana, "Vultures"' excellent tune (it's another of my favourites by the way) sounds uncannily like the Nirvana hit single "Come As You Are." The riff is constantly in this grunge style, and it's one of the album's better "risky" tracks (that is, tracks that break from the tried-and-tested Offspring medium). The song is about death, and about vultures waiting around for the inevitable. It's not a very happy song, as you can tell. ("And in the sun a loaded gun makes for conversation, all the while in denial it's too late for me to change.") I love this song's lyrics.

The final official song on the album, the title-track "Conspiracy of One" races into action with its cool riff and powerful vocals. if it were longer, it would be a candidate for my favourite song on the album, but as it is it only lasts around two minutes, if that. It's about a lone person causing corruption and anarchy at the highest level, with others powerless to stop him. ("Red over white, it's one last fatal scene, brought on by someone unseen, moving on their own.")

Track fourteen is apparently a "bonus track": bull poo, it's on every version of the album, and is to promote the Offspring's home video. Entitled "Huck It" (the same as the video), the song is quite good, and is the only event of proper swearing on the whole album. (If you don't count Original Prankster's "you know it smells like sh**" line.) [If "sh**" isn't proper swearing, why did you just say "bull poo?"] It's alright, but the home video;s not worth buying unless you're a really dedicated fan (I bought it). [I'm no poser!]

The artwork is even better than that of Americana, and each song has a page devoted to it, which is great. The drawings were produced by Alan Forbes, who kicks bottom at his job. I also love the front cover. The album is also the only Offspring album to have an "Enhanced CD" option, which means you can stick it in your computer for extra options. The best of these is the chance to see all four music videos (in full) off Americana, but it's definitely worth a look. Although their older stuff is better, this album does appeal to a wide variety of people, and is definitely worth the money. A great buy.

2. Smash *****

Written on 02.06.2001

The Offspring have been my favourite band for almost a year now [I thought it was since always?], and are what got me into music. This was one of the first albums I bought, and one I still listen to most nowadays.

The Offspring's third released album, this was the record that shot them out of the underground into the view of the public [All this context is just stuff I read on whatever the version of Wikipedia was back then], with the amazing and energetic "Come Out and Play (keep 'm seperated)." This was soon followed by the even more successful Nirvana-esque "Self-Esteem" and the not so well received "Gotta Get Away."

I personally believe this may be the Offspring's best album, although their following album (the spectacular "Ixnay on the Hombre") is my other favourite. They are both very different, so I can't choose which one is better- but it doesn't really matter, as I play both CDs to death.

Many of the songs are packed with energy and contain deafeningly loud drumrolls and guitar tunes, such as "Nitro (Youth Energy)", "Bad Habit", "So Alone" and their cover of the old Didjits song [That band I've never listened to or heard of otherwise] "Killboy Powerhead." The previously mentioned "Self Esteem" is much more a grunge song, while others such as "Come Out and Play", "Genocide" and the excellent "Smash" are the Offspring's unique brand of heavy punk. This album is definitely the Offspring at their heaviest, but they're still pure punk through and through [Was going to pull myself up on that naiveté, but I never did get into more authentic punk. Apart from Misfits, but they're weird.] - the album even dares veer into the realm of ska-punk with the drug abuse track of "What Happened to You?" Even though I think ska is a pretty weird aspect of punk, the track is still good to listen to.

The focus in many of the songs drifts away from some of the earlier albums' controversial themes of the government, rape and suicide, instead focusing on insanity (in a comical kind of way with "Bad Habit"- `I open the glovebox, reach inside, gonna wreck this f***er's ride`) [You wouldn't censor it if he was a n***er though], the increasing number of children equipped with firearms in "Come Out and Play" (`the kids are strappin' on their way to the classroom; getting weapons with the greatest of ease`), and the final song "Smash" which sends a message to all the punk and metal fans who have been accused of being "goths" and "sweaty moshers" [If this is as traumatic as my adolescence got, I got through okay] by stating `I'm not a trendy asshole- don't give a f**k if it's good enough for you.`

An amazing album that is well worth the money, catching the Offspring at their finest. These tunes are still played live and the album still sells today. Go out and indulge yourself- listen to the guy from the intro track!

1. Ixnay on the Hombre *****

Written on 17.12.2000

I only recently started liking the Offspring, and it was this album that turned me around. [The skeleton art was a big help.] I personally think it is the best album they have released so far, and is currently my favourite album in the world. Unlike some other albums (I'm thinking of "Americana" in particular), the tracks here are all pure punk rock, like the Offspring should be.

There's the loud, strong rhythms of "Mota", "The Meaning of Life" and "Cool to Hate", and some more laid back music like "Gone Away" and "Amazed." But I have to gove credit to a band who stick an intermission track right in the middle, complete with hilarious trumpet music ["all pure punk rock"] and a rather too-enthusiastic commentator.

I personally believe that the Offspring can be found at their best here, and in the albums "Smash" and "Conspiracy of One." Americana's also got some great tracks, but it's spoilt by music that is a little too different and risky to make the album stand out. [This earlier review is much more readable than the later ones, by which time I'd learned that lazy dooyoo users rated based on length.]

Bonus: Offspring in general *****

Written on 02.06.2001

The Offspring are the pinnacle of music in my opinion- these guys got me into music last year when I heard the fantastic "Ixnay on the Hombre" round my friend's house. I now have all six albums, loads of new and old singles, T-shirts, hooded tops; even their home video, the not-so-brilliant "Huck It!" (it's still worth buying though, but only if you're a really big fan). [Even then, it's not worth buying.]

The Offspring seem to be the dividing line between Californian punk and Heavy Metal- their old albums ("Smash" in particular) containing very loud and heavy tunes. They have been accused of selling out with their albums "Americana" and "Conspiracy of One", (the amazing single "Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)" reaching number 1 in the UK charts), and I have to admit that it is slightly true, as they have modified their style to try and appeal to a wider audience with songs such as "Why Don't You Get a Job?" (in my opinion, the worst song the band have produced) and "Original Prankster" (which I still like).

Although their peak seems to have passed after "Ixnay", the band still rock- I saw them live in Manchester in January on their 2001 European Tour, and those guys kicked some ass- they had great support from AFI, and played loads of the old favourites as well as ther great new songs. Their best albums are probably "Smash" and "Ixnay on the Hombre", although all albums are worth hearing.

Their first album was re-released on Nitro Records (the singer Dexter's own record label) in 1995 after the original vinyl copies became somewhat rare, giving fans a chance to hear the Offspring's roots. The Offspring's formation in itself is quite a comedic story. Vocalist Brian Holland (a.k.a. "Dexter Holland") and bass player Greg Kriesel (a.k.a. "Greg K") were friends from their school's cross country team, and formed a band with changing roles and members before finally recruiting young Ron Welty on drums and Kevin Wasserman (a.k.a. "Noodles") on guitar; Noodles had formerly been the school's janitor! [Never fact checked this. It sounds implausible.] The band would regularly practice round Greg's parents' house, which was large and could accomodate small audiences.

Although their first album was heavily political (dealing with issues such as rape [I think 'political' means 'serious'], war, the government and the police [That's the second album, dipshit]), their style soon became more relaxed, and they broke into the public mainstream with the single "Come Out and Play (keep 'm seperated)" off album "Smash." (See my review on that album if you are interested). Nowadays the Offspring are stinking rich [Assumption] but still touring, and inevitably have another album in the works. [It took a while, and I didn't care any more by then.] Their most recent single at the time of writing, "Want You Bad", got high in the UK charts, and as I write this I am informed [By my researcher?] that another song off their new album, "Million Miles Away", is soon to be released also. The future is looking bright for the Offspring. [But you stop caring almost immediately.]

Epilogue: Excerpt from Korn - Korn *****

Written on 10.06.2001 (between Offspring reviews where I praise them as the best band ever)

KoRn are undoubtedly my favourite band...

To be Korndooyooed...?

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