The Offspring

Days Go By

Written by: PP on 09/07/2012 04:43:44

The reaction I receive from most people when I ask them their thoughts on the new Offspring album "Days Go By" goes roughly along the lines of "they have a new album out"? I guess not having released anything noteworthy in the last 12 years takes its toll on people's interest, and that's probably exactly why "Days Go By" sounds as good as it does. After all, the band has had no pressure in writing and recording the album because let's be honest here: people wrote The Offspring off after "Rise And Fall, Rage And Grace" in 2008, if they didn't do that already in 2003 after "Splinter". So instead of being a hopeless revival of a rotting corpse, "Days Go By" is actually a revitalization of The Offspring's sound, their most energetic and most relevant release since at least 2000's "Conspiracy Of One", but I'm tempted to go back as far as "Americana" from 1998.

Why's that? Well lets put it this way. The first five tracks of "Days Go By" are vintage Offspring as you remember them from their 90s era. Gone are the experiments with alternative rock and other bullshit, now replaced with a high tempo and Dexter Holland's trademark punk rock croon. The guitars are fast, the verse/chorus progressions/melodies distinctly 90s and quintessentially The Offspring circa 1997-1998, with throwbacks to songs from "Smash" and "Ixnay On The Hombre" eras and little to suggest "Splinter" and "Rise And Fall..." even existed.

The same applies to the last four tracks on the record: "Dividing By Zero", for instance, is easily the best Offspring song since "Want You Bad" on "Conspiracy Of One" twelve years ago, and arguably even capable of reaching "Americana" heights in terms of individual song quality. That the band chose to re-record "Dirty Magic" from their 1992 album "Ignition" tells a story of a band that has decided to turn to their early material for inspiration, even if its chorus now sounds exactly like a slower version of "Have You Ever".

Unfortunately what hinders The Offspring from obtaining a higher grade is tracks 6, 7 and 8 on the album, which each stoop to a new low I thought no longer possible after "Hit That", "Original Prankster" and "Stuff Is Messed Up". "Cruising California (Bumpin' In My Trunk)" is, without a doubt, the worst song The Offspring have ever written throughout their 26 year career. It's so, so terrible, so ridiculously bad that it almost made me spend a retarded amount of money on the next available flight from Copenhagen to Huntington Beach, where I would knock on their door with a double-barreled shotgun, cocking both barrels upon door opening, saying "this ends now". "OC Guns" has a similar effect, except here I just want to subject myself to Chinese water torture rather than hear Dexter Holland sing yet another chorus line of "tiki tiki tiki tiki tiki / waddup holmes? You hijo de puta! pendejo! Cabron" over some borderline idiotic latin beat. Honestly, if my notes for these two songs are "WTF is this shit", something is very, very wrong. And while "All I Have Left Is You" isn't quite as atrociously terrible as either of these songs, it's still fucking terrible: if I wanted my Offspring record to sound like Foo Fighters, I'd go listen to the motherfucking Foo Fighters instead. Capiche?

So there's the dilemma. While the set of songs The Offspring have produced on "Days Go By" are easily their best since "Conspiracy of One", a few black sheep decisions ruin the overall impression of the album. Most bands can get away with a bad track or two on the record, but never when they are as amazingly bad as the ones The Offspring present here. So here's my advice: screw buying the album, get the individual songs from iTunes instead.


Download: Dividing By Zero, Days Go By, Turning Into You, Hurting As One
For the fans of: Green Day, Pennywise, Bad Religion, All
Listen: Facebook

Release date 26.06.2012
Columbia Records

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