Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Offspring - Smash
Realizing just how amazing this album is -- or, should I say, "still is", almost 17 years after it's release on April 8th, 1994 -- is why I started doing this project/blog. This album popped into my head a few days ago and I had a few extra seconds to track it down this morning before rushing out the door... but after a sleepless night I needed something with a little extra 'get up and go' to get me going. This was it.
(The) Offspring have released a number of albums now, but this one stands head and shoulders above everything else they've done as far as I'm concerned. It's the perfect attack of punk energy, filled with great bass lines and angsty lyrics. It's also full of lines and riffs and moments in the songs that really stick with you. Hours later, I'm still hearing little pieces of songs pop into my head; it's been years since I'd last heard the album, but I still remembered so much of it. Even the kitchy spoken-word intro bit (and the two other parts on the album) seem to work so well as part of the whole.
Although I instantly recognized the two massive mid-album singles, I certainly wasn't waiting for them to come through the speakers. This album is an assault from start to finish; there really isn't a quiet part to be found, but somehow the variation in the songs, and the arrangement on the album, keeps that energy going. This album came out during, and helped lead, the mainstream punk explosion along with albums like Dookie (February 1994), Stranger Than Fiction (September 1994) and ...And Out Come the Wolves (August 1995) but it still plays just as well.
While some could argue that this album was the band's lead-in to their later, more pop-punk sound, I would say that it's the perfect balance between traditional punk energy and an accessible mainstream sound.