Time is on Their Side
Formed in 2009 out of Black Flag/Circle Jerks singer Keith Morris and members of a handful of other Los Angeles punk bands, OFF! has provided the punk music world with a time machine straight back to the 1980s. After releasing four short EPs and one full-length record in 2012 (coinciding with a tour of Morris’ new version of Black Flag, now known only as Flag), OFF! has released their sophomore record, Wasted Years. With no lack of influence from Morris’s earlier days in Nervous Breakdown-era Black Flag, Wasted Years stands as an upbeat and energetic example of how early punk rock can thrive today.
Anyone who has listened to any of OFF!’s earlier albums will likely know what is in store for them when they put on this one, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. Morris and band have found a sound that is both modern and old school that they can execute in an interesting and fun way time and time again. No one can blame them for wanting to keep that up. Guitarist Dimitri Coats proves that he can write a riff befitting any punk legend in “Legion of Evil” and the whole band demonstrates their ability to lay on the heaviness in “Over Our Heads.” Wasted Years ends on its title track, as catchy a tune as any other on the album that will leave you desperate to get to a show as soon as you can.
For fans of Black Flag, Circle Jerks and early ’80s punk rock will want to give Wasted Years a listen. A revival of the poppy– but not pop– punk days of yore, OFF! Will make any older listener feel as if they were teleported right back to high school, and will show younger fans that they can stop writing “Punk is Dead” on all of their binders. With support from bands like Red Hot Chili Peppers, one can only hope to see more from this band, and if they keep sounding as good as Wasted Years, it will be a ride we’ll want to be on.