The Offspring
Days Go By



by Alex Carlson USER (40 Reviews)
June 19th, 2012 | 47 replies | 18,894 views

Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: One of the 90's biggest punk bands officially hits middle-age.

9 of 10 thought this review was well written

Prior to the release of their ninth album, Days Go By, in response to fans’ denouncement of their punk roots, The Offspring pulled a serious stunt by saying that they’re so punk, they’re not punk. This brings back bitter memories of other 90’s punk rock bands and their departure from the archetypal punk aesthetic. Trading in furious blasts of chords and lightspeed drumming for melody and supposed lyrical relatability, The Offspring began putting their heritage on the backburner and branching out from their already established history. The Offspring haven’t departed from the sound brought out in their previous album, Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace, but that’s the biggest issue. Days Go By sits in an uncomfortable limbo, between the belt-out punk archetype and the melodic radio-rock accessible sound. The result is something that will crack a few smiles from passing radio listeners, but lacks the soul and ingenuity of its pedigree.

The radio single “Days Go By” isn’t bad. It’s not. The mid-tempo, feel-good flow is a high mark for the band, but aside from the crowing of Dexter Holland, this is a cut-and-paste anthem that can sit comfortably beside Foo Fighters on your alt rock airwaves. In a more severe case, the disgustingly titled “Secrets From the Undergound” seems to defeat the point of why fans have stuck by The Offspring since the 90’s. It’s a stale rock track with no sense of inventive soul, whose very title seems to taunt long-time fans of this modern punk relic. This isn’t underground anymore, guys. You’ve entered the world of mainstream radio rock.

It’s at “Hurting As One” that the band gets just plain crushing. It’s so disappointing, this song. Why? Because it’s so very close to being a proper Offspring track. Gathering a vibe from “All I Want” or “A Million Miles Away”, “Hurting As One” gelatinizes a foundation that would make any other budding punk band proud to follow. It’s intense, aggressive, and really brings out that clenched-fist rage that is missing from so many other songs that the band has released in the last ten or so years. It’s close. So very close to being a fantastic Offspring song, but misses the mark by a hair. Same with “Dividing By Zero.” It’s close. It’s fast, energized, and remarkably well-composed as a punk song, but it feels so lonely among the stale rock anthems. Guys…make more songs like this.

Even the ballads feel empty on Days Go By. “All I Have Left Is You” is shallow in the same vibe as “Kristy, Are You Doing Okay?” That…well…it’s not okay. Between the brooding and cookie-cutter alt rock, “OC Guns” mixes in turntables and a laid-back groove for solid effect. Channeling the spirits of Sublime, it’s a groovy, Latin-inspired track that will keep you moving. Though the guitars are turned down, it must be said that “OC Guns” is a good song…for an underwhelming album.

“Turning Into You” is a brighter spot amongst a redundant and stale Offspring record. It rocks a bit harder than expected, emitting a darker and much more vengeful style for an otherwise energetic band. The song takes a few left turns for a punk band, but if you strip away the vocals, it’s another typical brooding rock song that shows no personality. “Cruising California” celebrates summer in a weird way. It has the goofy charm of songs like “Pretty Fly (For a White Guy),” but the lyrics don’t sound like goofy jokes. It’s like the guys are trying to appeal to today’s “in-crowd.” It’s another summer star that will shine on radio, but why there is auto-tuning on an Offspring track is beyond explanation. It’s another attempt for the band to branch out and explore the pop style, but I can’t in good faith call it anything more than something that will be played at beach clubs and denounced by the rock crowd. It’s a freaky mess of a song. Bump that trunk, guys.

There are a few scatterbrained pieces of bliss on Days Go By, but The Offspring have proven that they need a boost before creating their next studio album. Whether it’s more re-written punk anthems or a complete revisiting of the past, they need something. The edgy and exciting punk stylings of The Offspring are there, but they’ve better put into a much better light before. For a band that has been revered since the 90’s for their quirky sense of humor, but respect for punk’s fundamentals, The Offspring have hit middle age with Days Go By. It’s going to be played frequently on the radio, that can’t be denied, but if you’ve been tracking these guys since day one, there’s no sense in blurring that vision of nostalgia any longer. The Offspring’s Days Go By is another unsettling look at a band whose bag of tricks is running dangerously low, so if you’re hoping for a return to the roots for this otherwise influential band, just remember: days go by, and so do The Offspring.

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Comments:Add a Comment 
June 19th 2012


Album Rating: 2.0

Stream on Rolling Stone right here:

Contributing Reviewer
June 19th 2012


I think they hit middle age a while ago, this is old age

Digging: More Than Life - What's Left Of Me

Staff Reviewer
June 19th 2012


Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Man this isn't that bad. There are those tracks that have been mentioned already as horrible and a couple more, but half of the album sounds solid. Even if it's not the old Offspring, this is better than Rise And Fall. Good review anyway, nicely written.

Digging: Amplifier - Echo Street

June 19th 2012


Its bands like this that show why Nirvana, Sublime, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, and all the other bands whose careers were cut short was probably a good thing b/c they didnt destroy their legacies with shitty middle aged albums.

Doug Stanhope sums it up:

Digging: Shape of Broad Minds - Craft of the Lost Art

June 19th 2012


Album Rating: 3.0

Damn you Bob Rock. The Future Is Now sounds like something that would be on Appeal To Reason (Rise Against) :/

Digging: Oxbow - The Narcotic Story

June 19th 2012


Scared to even listen to this. I'll just listen to Ixnay instead.

June 19th 2012


Album Rating: 3.0

It's not that bad, it's just the Offspring trying to be Rise Against

June 19th 2012



June 19th 2012


I feel like an entire review could be dedicated to how god awful cruisin' California is, and it still wouldn't be done justice

June 19th 2012


Really surprised at the album cover.

Digging: Flesh Field - Strain

June 19th 2012


after hearing cruising california i'm not even gonna listen to this

June 19th 2012


Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

actually a HUGE improvement over rfrg (which isn't saying much). was on the verge of giving this a 3.5, but i skipped the 2 singles i already knew sucked while streaming it. i think the offspring proved a few things with this album: they can still write aggressive, kick-ass punk songs when they want to (see the first 2 tracks, "hurting as one," and "dividing by zero"); dexter's singing is only digressing and is especially noticeable on their simply bad ballad attempt; the band still doesn't take themselves too seriously (which i've always found endearing, but i mean california cruisin and secret family are pretty inexcusable). overall, though, i was pleasantly surprised with a handful of tracks and that bob rock's production wasn't as much of an impedance as it was on their first collab. a solid 3.

June 19th 2012


Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

im pretty stoked about so many 'not as bad as we thought it was gonna be' responses.

will listen to this later

cruising california is just so awful tho ;S

June 19th 2012


Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

sup sublimefan91 hows it hangin

June 19th 2012


Album Rating: 2.5

I don't wanna really to hear this, the single was really bad

June 19th 2012


gota check this

June 19th 2012


sounds sexy

June 19th 2012


Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Not a bad review, but that you pointed to OC Guns as a highlight and proceeded to make no mention of the amazing Dirty magic remake is something I just can't take seriously.

Pos tho.

June 19th 2012


Let me start by saying I liked this album, apart from "Cruising California," which is absolutely one of the worst songs ever recorded in the history of humankind. I hated OC Guns as well, but I won't fault the reviewer for liking it. 2 major problems with this review though: it's absolutely ridiculous to think that because they have a song called "Secrets from the Underground," they're in some way implying that their music is underground. I also didn't like how the reviewer succumbed to the whole "These songs are disappointing because they're actually good, so I don't like them because they highlight the fact that other songs aren't good" fallacy.

June 20th 2012


Album Rating: 2.0

Easily their worst album. The best song is "Dirty magic" which was borrowed from an earlier album. With these guys pushing 50 I think they need to find a new hobby. They're not gonna make any new fans with this mess, though I think they'll lose some (like myself)!

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