Evan Minsker

By Evan Minsker

on 05.08.12 in Reviews


1980 hardcore done 30 years later

One of the most common praises and complaints lodged at OFF! is that they’re just an extension of frontman Keith Morris’s last band, the Circle Jerks. To a certain degree, it’s true — in tone, volume, lyrical themes, delivery, speed, song length (less than one minute) and aggression, this doesn’t stray at all from Morris’s roots. So, essentially, this LP is 1980 hardcore done 30 years later. Morris is well-aware of that criticism, and the lyrics of “Cracked” go on the offensive: “Hardcore karaoke retirement home/ I asked ‘Why?’/ You said ‘no!’” That point is undercut by the same sound the band pushed on every other OFF! Record, but isn’t the saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?” Clocking in at 16 songs and 16 minutes, the album totally rips, and it never wastes a moment on an unnecessary bridge, riff, word, or thought. Also, after First Four EPs, an OFF! record is only as good as Morris’s neck vein-bulging screams, which offer some gems to live by: “BORROW AND BOMB” or “YOU ARE WRONG.” Not exactly “FUCK PEOPLE,” but still awesomely agro.