Review by Chris Lockett: In 1992, Alternative Punk band The Offspring released their sophomore album Ignition. Now, twenty years later, they’re set to release their ninth studio album Days Go By. They’ve got a slew of hits and an extremely loyal fan base, but at this point in their career, are they still able to impress? Hit the jump to find out!
The Offspring have always been a versatile band, never being ones to stick to a single style or formula. They essentially have four main types of songs. There’s the regular Punk Rockers that always get the job done. Then there’s the Hard Rockers that venture outside of the Punk realm. Then there are the ballads, (pretty self explanatory). And then finally there are the comedic Rock songs that the band has become well known for. And dear readers, I’m happy to report that Days Go By is an album as versatile as the band that created it, containing all of the aforementioned categories, and featuring something for everyone.
The album kicks off with two Punk Rockers, the first being “The Future Is Now”, a guitar driven, fast paced, politically charged romp that focuses itself around George Orwell’s 1984. The second track, and one of my favorites on the album, is “Secrets From The Underground”, a heavy hitting, sick-of-the-sh*t anthem, that features an insanely catchy chorus and showcases all of the band members’ talents. Other signature Punk songs on the album include the slightly more lyrically ambiguous “Turning Into You”, the poetic yet in your face “Hurting As One”, as well as “Dividing By Zero”, which is the most raw and unpolished song on the album. The final Punk song on the album is also its final track, “Slim Pickens Does The Right Thing And Rides The Bomb To Hell”, based on the Dr. Strangelove referencing title alone, you can tell that this track is going to be a fun one (and it is).
So the Punk Rockers make up exactly half of the album, but sprinkled all throughout are the rest of the bands’ different styles. For the Hard Rockers, there is the albums’ first single and title track “Days Go By”, which features a very laid back guitar riff and positive feel good lyrics that prove that The Offspring is a band that is never afraid to try something different. The song is really catchy, and an unexpected yet pleasant surprise. The other Hard Rocker on the album, “Dirty Magic”, is actually a re-recording of one of the bands’ underappreciated songs from their sophomore album Ignition. The song has always sounded very Grunge inspired, and not a lot like The Offspring at all, and for the re-recording, the band has polished it up yet have still managed to leave its unique sound intact. The result is a much improved version of the original, and will undoubtedly be the version that I listen to from now on.
In the ballad department, there is only one track, but fortunately it’s a good one. “All I have Left Is You”, is reminiscent of a slightly more upbeat version of “Kristy, Are You Doing Okay?”, from the bands’ last album. It is very guitar based, much like most of the bands’ songs, and has an amazing outro that ends the song perfectly.
The rest of the songs on the album are of the comedic type, and are as offbeat and great as any of The Offspring’s other Comedic Rock songs. First there is the album’s second single, “Cruising California (Bumpin’ In My Trunk)”, the title of which should give you a good indication of what the song is going for (making fun of Top 40 crap, specifically Katy Perry’s “California Gurls”). The song is an absolute blast, and hearing Dexter Holland shouting lines like “The girl that you want/is directly out in front/and she’s waving her caboose at you/you sneeze, achoo!/she calls you out and BOOM!”, or “Well I know a baller/but I do have an impala/and I might say “hey”/but I’ll never say “holla”” is seriously the greatest thing since sliced bread. The other comedic tracks are the weird, bass heavy, Latin tinged “OC Guns”, and the ridiculous/hilarious “I Wanna Secret Family (With You)”.
Production on this album was done (like on the bands’ last album, Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace) by the infamous Bob Rock, who is mostly known as the guy who almost completely destroyed Metallica (which, fortunately, has not been the case with The Offspring). Most of the songs on the album are carried by Noodles’ guitar playing, (as is almost always the case), though every single instrument can be heard loud and clear throughout the album. Also worth noting, is that all of the songs are able to find that perfect balance between being too raw and too clean, instead finding a happy medium that is bound to please fans of both styles.
The Bottom Line: With Days Go By, The Offspring have crafted an album that showcases what the band is all about. Featuring all of the different subgenres of songs that the band has become known for, this varied album contains something for everyone. And to all of you diehard Offspring fans, fret not, as this album was designed with you in mind.