Why Did The Offspring Cross The Road?
Itâ€šÃ„Ã´s been more than a decade since the birth of the Offspring, but like any growing teenager, the band has experienced major changes. Breaking onto the SoCal scene in the early 90â€šÃ„Ã´s with a fireball intensity and finger-pointing social/political content, their second and third recordings Ignition and Smash drew the band instant comparisons to skate punk mainstays Bad Religion and Pennywise. Soon after, the success of the gang violence-themed â€šÃ„ÃºCome Out and Playâ€šÃ„Ã¹ gained the Offspring national popularity but also initialized a shift in direction for the bandâ€šÃ„Ã´s future, in which more attention would be paid to entertainment than energy, party jokes over politics. Future releases Americana and Conspiracy of One seemed to be built upon a formula of staggering goofy tracks amongst those of traditional Offspring sound, while headlining the record with one gimmicky song (e.g. â€šÃ„ÃºPretty Fly (for a White Guy)â€šÃ„Ã¹) that features comical instruments and a joke catch phrase.As predictable as a late-episode A-Team comeback, Splinterâ€šÃ„Ã´s format holds identical to its precursors. The gimmick song this time is â€šÃ„ÃºHit That,â€šÃ„Ã¹ a tired synthesizer-backed salute to â€šÃ„Ãºgetting the ladies.â€šÃ„Ã¹ Whereas those who loved Americana or Conspiracy will be in heaven with the slowed, silly hooks of â€šÃ„ÃºWorst Hangover Everâ€šÃ„Ã¹ andâ€šÃ„ÃºSpare My Details,â€šÃ„Ã¹ fans of the older Offspring sound will enjoy the breakneck speed of â€šÃ„ÃºLightening Rodâ€šÃ„Ã¹ and â€šÃ„ÃºDa Huiâ€šÃ„Ã¹ and be let down by the pace of the rest. It has become evident that Offspringâ€šÃ„Ã´s catchy riffs and user-friendly lyrics are a permanent removal of the edge from their tunes. Splinter is a fun listen, but those looking for another Ignition should wait for the next Bad Religion album instead.