The Offspring - Days Go By
It's been 14 years since The Offspring first exploded into the mainstream with the infectious (if slightly annoying) hit 'Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)'. Still a staple at rock nights all over the country, it brings us to ask - have The Offspring found the time to grow up yet?!
The answer is predominantly, no. Lyrically, Dexter, Noodles and co. are still tackling the same subjects they were moaning about 20 years ago on breakthrough album Ignite. Girls are still a problem in Offspring world, so it seems. But don't take their lack of maturity to mean they are musically redundant.
With most albums taking at least a couple of listens to be able to fully immerse yourself, Days Go By is refreshing in that it hurtles you - at breakneck speed - straight back to their Americana days. Dexter Holland's unique, raspy vocal still conveys emotion as it ever did, spitting lyrics to a backdrop of chugging, palm-muted guitar. There is a more sophisticated side to them, even if it does only rear its adult head on a couple of occasions, in the form of piano-led bridges which then plunge straight back into a standard huge chorus. On 'Secrets From The Underground' Holland venomously proclaims that "This is not an anthem", a lyric far from the truth. This is a set of songs that should inject new life into the Offspring live set, particularly the distorted riffery of angst-ridden teen anthem 'Turning Into You'.
The unsung hero of the LP is bass player Greg Kriesel. His meaty hooks glue together the percussion and sharp, punky guitar to make a solid backbone to their sound. Verses rely heavily on chunky, chugging bass lines to carry them through to stadium sized choruses, even if Holland's vocals do sound a little strained and scratchy at times. 'OC Guns' is a great example of this, a ska-tinged, reggae-inspired tune with more than a hint of Hispanic influence.
'Cruising California (Bumpin' in my Trunk)' is utterly ridiculous, but the more you listen to it, the more you'll love it. Think Katy Perry's sun-tinged summer anthem 'California Gurls' given the ska treatment. Dexter's rapping should be terrible, but it's oddly catchy, although they're kind of lyrics that you'd be glad to listen to through headphones rather than in front of other people. An anomaly to the album, but a nice space to catch your breath, be a bit nostalgic, and indulge in The Offspring's ability to pen a catchy parody tune.
Nine albums in, The Offspring prove that while the 'Days Go By', the sentiment still remains largely the same.