Review Summary: This punky, quick paced energy filled brigade of an album might just be the fix you need, to satisfy your near-classic cravings.
The Offspring may be one of the most popular American bands that I can think of, just off the top of my head. Being musically active since 1984, they are still going strong, and keeping a very strong fanbase, that stands by their side the whole way through. Going back in time, The Offspring's founders are Bryan "Dexter" Holland and Greg Kriesel who met in their high school cross-country team. Their decision of the band came outside of a Social Distortion concert, after they were told that they could not attend the concert. The band actually started out as a small SoCal garage band that didn't get much attention. Another member that goes by the name of Kevin "Noodles" Wasserman, was ironically the two boys school janitor and was welcomed to join the band. Rumor has it, only because he was old enough to buy booze for Dexter and Greg, because they were of course under the legal age.
The Offspring's self-titled album, which is of course their debut album sadly did not reach the charts and didn't even hit it gold or even bronze to mention the least. But their hopes started to rise after their 2nd public release "Ignition." And then (without getting cocky) their 3rd release know none other than as "Smash" hit it platinum. It was nothing but open road there on out for the boys of The Offspring. Speaking of the boys of The Offspring, what are their names again"
Dexter Holland on Vocals, Guitar
Grek Kriesel on Bass
Noodles on Guitar and Back-Up Vocals
Ron Welty on Drums
This self-titled Offspring album can easily be considered a raw sound when compared to their later releases; Smash, Americana and Splinter. and Unfortunatly this album sound isn't the best when compared, and sounds just a bit overproduced. But an honest Offspring fan will overlook this sound quality and look at it for what it truly is; the roots of The Offspring and shows their true punk influenced side. Each song on this album has it's fair share of catchy riffs, breakdowns and hooks, and for the best examples of these seek to songs; Jennifer Lost The War, Crossroads, Demons, and I'll Be Waiting.
Focusing back on the punk influenced side, The Offspring roots are obvious when it comes down to The Offsprings debut effort. As Dexter's vocals are medium to fast, pretty much throughout the whole album. But the only track that I can't say the same for is "Demons" as his vocals are a bit slower than normal. The music is still farely fast. The song "Demons" actually fits the name of the song quite well with its somewhat haunting vocals, but feel good vibe, thanks to the riffs of the guitars and intruments in-between. It still makes out to be a pretty good track.
But when looking on the quicker side, the fastest, punkiest vocals displayed on this album, comes off of the following tracks; Beheaded, and Kill The President. Although Beheaded may be an unusual sound or dissapointment for some die-hard fans of The Offspring because of the cheesy lyrics bacisally talking about how parents and others don't have heads anymore. And even cheesy sounding vocals from Dexter, despite these factors, this track is still quick, catchy, and obviously punk influenced.
Dexter isn't the only one using his vocals on this album, so is ex-janitor "Noodles" playing guitar. And also being the back-up vocals, when he does come in for his serving of vocals to back Dexter's up, its no dissapointment. As their voices compliment eachothers well. An example of this is on track #2, known no other than as "Elders." Making the statement "How does it feel," sound as strong as possible with both of these two prodigy's voices in the track."
Now on to the topic of musicianship and the instruments alone. Without focusing on the sometimes over-used breakdowns and hooks. The Offspring thankfully uses their fair share of solo's. Although they are nothing super-fancy and quick, they are still done gracefully and with talent. Proving to all the soon-to-be devoted fans that they mean business and aren't the typical power chord whores. What may come to a surprise, this album only has a few songs, that don't have solo's. Although when I say solo's, not all of them are full blown solo's, and just sample's of solo's here and there through out the song. Usually the solo's are done by Noodles, but every once in a while, Dexter will pull a couple off, to show off his talent. Sadly the drumming on this is nothing about par, and just results in being catchy, and helping keep the mood and vibe of each song. On a different note, the bass is actually sometimes harder to hear, and almost not even there. But when the bass is there, you'll know its presence. For best results of Greg K. on the bass, seek the following tracks; Demons, Tehran, A Thousand Days, and the end track Kill The President.
The track is "Out On Patrol." And opens up with a quick up-beat, acoustic guitar strumming like noones business, setting the pace for the whole song. But doesn't proceed throughout the whole song, and comes back somewhere near the end of the track to mix it up once again.
The vocals for the album, are actually farely cheesy in a majority of the songs, but they work out well for people that have a good sense of humor, and don't take lyrics incredibly serious. Like in the track Beheaded, and Jennifer Lost the War, which is almost obviously cheesy just by reading the title of the name. But if your like me, you overlook these elements and look on the brighter side of things, this is The Offspring when they were young, they weren't all about hitting deep topics of "Love, and Alienating." Although they were old enough to hit the topic of politics, as shown and sung in the tracks; Tehran and obviously Kill The President. Tehran probably being my favorite track when it comes to lyrics, because of it's talk about Iran and other countries, although the lyrics were written long before 9/11 ever struck America. As if they were playing Nostrodomus. For example;
Soon America may find
Its young man in the sand
Where there casualty
Is just a number
All in all, this album is a must, for any fan of The Offspring, and even a must for someone wanting to get into The Offspring. And it reaches many levels, and has many values, that many bands "debut" album's can't even imagine of reaching. If you don't think you've heard any songs off of this album, you might be mistaken as it actually does carry a couple "hit" tracks; Black Ball and I'll Be Waiting.