Friday, March 20, 2009

CD review: The Offspring/Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace

The Offspring
Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace
Sony BMG

The Offspring might forever be remembered as the band who sang ‘Pretty Fly (For A White Guy),’ which is rather unfortunate, because these California punksters have been releasing some brilliant stuff before and after ‘Pretty Fly.’ And consistently so. Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace, is yet another example of this. The new album is filled with hi-energy energetic numbers. Well, most of it anyway.

While there are tracks like ‘Kristy, Are You Doing Okay?’ and ‘Fix You’ that are uncharacteristically lo-energy, they aren’t the ones that will grab your aural attention. ‘Trust In You’ is a typical Offspring song, complete with catchy harmonised choruses and biting guitar riffs. Ditto with ‘You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid.’ In fact, the latter could well be the next video single – except for the “Dance fucker, dance” chorus that might make it slightly unsuitable for MTV. Then there is ‘Stuff is Messed Up’ – as cheesy as the “la-la-la-la-la” singalong chorus might sound, there’s no denying that it’s infectious.

Rise and Fall… might not be the best album The Offspring has sprung on us – earlier recordings like 1994’s Smash or even 2000’s Conspiracy of One might vie for that title. But it’s a very good album, no doubt. Hardcore fans might find the sound a bit too refined for their tastes (please address complaints to producer Bob Rock); but us, we are just fine with it, thank you.

© Bobin James/Rolling Stone India, 2008

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