By Rick Polo (Editor-in-Chief)
Artist: The Offspring
Album: Days Go By
Release Date: 6/26/12
It’s been four years since The Offspring have dropped an album, and over a decade since one of this magnitude. Days Go By, the ninth studio album by the veteran punk rockers, was released this past summer to both critical and fan approval, with the help of lead singles “California Cruisin’ (Bumpin’ in My Trunk)” and title-track “Days Go By,” the band have returned to the top with their most concise album since 2000’s Conspiracy of One.
The album comes four years after their last effort, 2008’s Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace,the over-the-top rock opera undoubtedly influenced by the success of Green Day’s American Idiot. Although the album was also a critical and commercial success, many die-hard fans of the band felt it was slightly bloated, either due to the popular influence of the time or because of their new choice of producer, Bob Rock (Metallica, Motley Crue). Days Go By, also produced by Rock, contains all of the unique so-un-punk-that-it’s-punk quarks that The Offspring have made a career of, yet the uniquely strong and deep song-writing that they’re equally known for.
The album takes off with the up-beat punk rocker “The Future is Now,” which sounds similar to Rise Against. As admitted big fans of Rise Against, The Offspring often have a knack for both playing-on and paying homage to acts they admire. Enter the singles, “California Cruisin'” and “Days Go By.” “California Cruisin'” is somewhat of a novelty track, harking back to their massive 1998 hit “Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)” in it’s use of pop music satire, most likely pointing at Katy Perry’s “California Girls.” “Days Go By” is a Foo Fighters-esque sing-along with anthem-like quality.
The best part of Days Go By is that it contains no filler, unlike the two previous albums Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace and 2003’s Splinter. From beginning to end , it’s full of the signature Offspring uniqueness that completely transcends punk rock yet maintains the attitude all throughout.
Tracks like “Hurting as One,” Turning Into You” and “Dividing By Zero” bring on the fast punk, while others like “Days Go By” and “I Want a Secret Family (With You)” offer more pop hooks and sensibility. “O.C. Guns” brings a Spanish reggae vibe, and the closing track, “Slim Pickens Does the Right Thing and Rides the Bomb to Hell,” gives an up-beat-yet-oddly-somber conclusion to the album. A standout track is the re-recording of “Dirty Magic,” a track from their 1992 album Ignition. The re-vision brings new life to a key gem buried deep within their discography.
One of the finest qualities The Offspring have always had to offer is the imaginative and diverse lyrical talent of lead singer and guitarist Dexter Holland. Holland’s lyrics range from the political to the personal, often taking many perspectives. They never cease to be both thought-provoking and emotional. He sings his ass off on Days Go By with heart and prowess, providing the final touches to this incredible musical portrait.
All in all, Days Go By is the best Offspring album in a decade. Although they have been taking four-year breaks between releases, unlike their biannual releases of the 90’s, it points back to their 90’s heyday. The band have never released what you’d call a bad album or have fallen off the map in any way, but this is the album to pick up! Fans new and old won’t be disappointed.