Release Date: Jun 26, 2012
Record label: Columbia
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Punk Revival
Nine albums in, these Cali punks are coasting by on dourly told jokes and reheated mad-at-the-world bluster. The low point is the deliberately bubbleheaded Dr. Luke rip "Cruising California," a "gag" track with no laughs in sight. Songs like "Dirty Magic," which sounds like an hommage to Nevermind’s deep cuts, will at least aid ex-mall punks looking to work out midlife crises via adolescent angst.
Review Summary: The Offspring slowly realize that a change in sound isn't necessary, as they are at their most effective when covering their own ground.Since releasing their Greatest Hits compilation, The Offspring have suffered from a lack of musical direction. There's clear evidence that major success in the mid 00s of fellow bands such as Green Day, Foo Fighters and even Coldplay left a big impact on The Offspring. As a result, their previous record was an attempt at a comeback by creating something big, heavy yet accessible, but they couldn't concentrate all their new influences into their own sound.
After nearly three decades of making sunny California skatepunk, the Offspring get autumnal with their reflective ninth album, Days Go By. Though the band still maintains the same driving, hooky sound that it's always had, the album feels less aggressive and more wistful and yearning. "Days Go By" seems like punk rock tailor-made for fall weather with its meditations on the impermanence of youthful anger, as if the Offspring are offering some sage advice for those coming up after them.
You hear that? That’s the sound of rock radio programmers and bleached-blonde Vans Warped Tour attendees around the world breathing a collective sigh of relief. So Cal’s most successful punk band ever is back, and they’d like people to know that they don’t intend to rest on their laurels when it comes to their ninth studio album. (Jesus, has it really been nearly 20 years since “Come Out and Play” burst out of nowhere to become the first independently-released single to top the Billboard Modern Rock chart?) Let’s be frank, though: I’m sure we all learned at some point in school that trying your damnedest doesn’t necessarily correlate to turning out the best damned work you’ve ever done.
THE OFFSPRING play Echo Beach Sunday September 2. See listing. Rating: NN The Offspring's 90s charm was their ability to blend driving "whoa oh oh" hooks with a healthy Gen X sense of irony and detached self-loathing. In 2012, somehow still active into their 28th year, they still use that template but have lost the snotty, sarcastic edge.
The Offspring: not what they used to be. The Offspring haven’t been at their rip-roaring best, on CD at least, for quite some time now. It is with frightful ease that one can declare ‘Days Go By’ as a parody of the efforts which came before. Compare the plodding ‘Secrets From The Underground’ with something like ‘Self Esteem’ and it’s as if you’re referencing two different bands.
Back before Bad Religion spearheaded a mid-’90s second wave of West Coast malcontents, The Offspring were going from demons and guillotines (1989’s The Offspring) to no-strings rendezvous and suicide cases in LA (1992’s Ignition), striking success around 1994’s Smash, branded the best-selling independent album of all time. More recently, however, 2008’s Rise And Fall, Rage And Grace was pseudo-political, critically eviscerated blandness that morphed The Offspring into a band that parents might have once considered hip and rebellious, now left playing “classics” playlists at half-full amphitheaters. To future generations, we are collectively sorry about “Kristy, Are You Doing Okay?”.
Nine records in and it certainly feels like The Offspring have got a lot left to prove. Across the board, 2008’s ‘Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace’ didn’t do exceptionally well, with many calling that the band were past their musical prime. Four years later, ‘Days Go By’ follows a similar suit, but there is still some hope left.Initially, what proves frustrating is that many of the tracks are too reminiscent of other bands.