Written by: PP on 29/05/2012 02:32:51

The music scene is sick, and OFF! is the antidote. The supergroup that features Black Flag founder Keith Morris, Dimitria Coats (Burning Brides), Steven McDonald (Redd Kross), Mario Rubalcaba (Rocket From The Crypt) sounds exactly like the early Black Flag recordings and Circle Jerks, so it's no surprise the band is often marketed with a simple question: "what if Keith Morris had never left Black Flag?". Basically, musical trends and OFF! are pretty much antonyms to each other, as their music couldn't be further away from any fad (current or otherwise) that's plaguing the music industry. They're like the astronauts occupying the ISS who look down at all the retarded things happening on planet earth and decide it's time to take the rocket back to show 'em how it's done.

They achieve this through a sound that's neither revivalist nor retrospective; it's an authentic sound by some of the faces and names that single-handedly created hardcore. It's an example of how music can be ferocious and raw, furious and unpretentious without resorting into breakdowns, screaming and that sort of thing.

In a nutshell, OFF! makes bands like Your Demise, Terror, and even The Ghost Inside look a little bit stupid.

That's not meant as an assault on those bands in particular rather than towards the hardcore scene as a whole. Because whatever your opinion may be of the scene today, you need but to pop on "OFF!", their official full length ("First Four EPs" was a compilation of their first four EPs, funnily enough), to understand what the hardcore scene was originally and should still be about. It's full of brief, but fiery clean vocal hardcore pieces that rely on groovy guitars and brilliant songwriting rather than hiding underneath a down-tuned guitar setup and screamed out vocals. Basically, this is how three and a half decade's worth of songwriting experience sounds like. Powerful songs with plenty of melodic treble, raw hardcore energy, primal roars, and that sort of thing. It's a perfectly fitting old school hardcore record that reminds us how timeless the original Black Flag / Circle Jerks sound is even in 2012.

Does all that sound familiar? If so, I don't blame you, because the 17 tracks in 15:44 offered by "OFF!" are essentially "First Four EPs": part two, except with less hit songs.


Download: Wiped Out, Jet Black Girls, Harbor Freeway Blues, 503, Elimination
For the fans of: Black Flag, Nervous Breakdown, Circle Jerks, Fucked Up, Champion
Listen: Facebook

Release date 08.05.2012
Vice Records

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