OFF!

Wasted Years

Written by: PP on 15/07/2014 19:43:49

I've now seen OFF! enough times live to know that they are the real deal and not just some pointless original hardcore revivalist band with members way past their best before date. Spearheaded by the piercing and unpredictable Circle Jerks / Black Flag vocalist Keith Morris, this old school supergroup have now reached their third studio album on "Wasted Years" and show no signs of wear despite their old age. Still praying at the altar of original hardcore as the genre was played in the old days, they effectively and consistently demonstrate how to keep the style sounding fresh and original even three decades later.

Just like the self-titled album from two years ago didn't alter much in comparison to their debut studio album "First Four EPs", the modification of their soundscape is minimal if not nonexistent throughout "Wasted Years" as well. High-octane, short bursts of aggressive hardcore with the lunatic vocal work of Morris at the forefront, nicely supplemented by heavy amounts of treble-laden, groovy riffage, just the way it has been throughout all OFF! releases so far. Obvious references to Circle Jerks, Nervous Breakdown, Black Flag, and as a modern alternative, Fucked Up, are splattered all across the record, which relies more on catchy riffage and raspy vocals than on any complex song structures. Hardcore was always about a feeling, and Morris & Co are very good at capturing that way-of-life and attitude on record, and even better at that live. "Wasted Years" is simply a portrayal of the original hardcore punk energy, delivered in a surprisingly catchy and enjoyable manner that doesn't sound like nails being screeched against a blackboard as is sometimes the case with retrospective hardcore bands. With songs like "I Won't Be A Casualty", "All I Can Grab", "Meet Your God" and plenty more, OFF! prove that yes, you can inject a boatload of melody into your sound and still be categorized as undeniably hardcore both in terms of expression and in terms of your attitudes.

So with that in mind, even though "Wasted Years" is essentially "First Four EPs" part trois, it's still a rock solid hardcore release through and through that suits genre purists and newcomers alike. Leave it to Morris & co to show how it's done in a frighteningly consistent manner in just over 23 minutes of retrospective hardcore/punk.

8

Download: I Won't Be A Casualty, Meet Your God, All I Can Grab
For the fans of: Fucked Up, Circle Jerks, Black Flag, Nervous Breakdown
Listen: Facebook

Release date 08.04.2014
Vice

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