In certain ways, THE OFFSPRING have always been a step behind and below their alterna-punk brethren GREEN DAY. Their breakthrough album, SMASH, showed up two months after Green Day's breakthrough album, DOOKIE. DOOKIE sold 10+ million units U.S.; SMASH sold 6+ million units U.S. Green Day have won Grammys, boatloads of MTV Music Awards, and went a long way toward locking down their legacy with the critical & commercial success of 2004's AMERICAN IDIOT; the Offspring... well... not so much.
Fact is, the Offspring have always seemed significantly more frat-boy shallow and gimmicky than their more celebrated counterparts. Goofy-lyricked novelty songs like "Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)" may have helped them sell 40+ million records worldwide, but they don't do much to build artistic credibility. Of course, if the members of Offspring are truly "punks," then they don't give two shits out of a rat's ass about artistic credibility (or record sales, for that matter). But I've always thought they were more "pop-metal" than "punk," and when they choose to introduce a bit of ska into the mix, they can start to sound a hell of a lot like SUGAR RAY.
All of this remains true on the Offspring's latest LP, RISE AND FALL, RAGE AND GRACE, which was released back in June. We'll work our way up to that, eventually, with next week's Part 2. For now, though, how 'bout a trip back to 1994, when the Offspring, Green Day, and (to a lesser extent) RANCID set about stealing some of grunge's thunder....
THE OFFSPRING on MySPACE.
From the LP AMERICANA, 1998 >>>
[MP3] [VID] "Why Don't You Get a Job?"
From the LP IXNAY ON THE HOMBRE, 1997 >>>
[MP3] [VID] "Gone Away"
From the LP SMASH, 1994 >>>
[MP3] [VID] "Come Out and Play (Keep 'Em Separated)"
[MP3] [VID] "Gotta Get Away"
[MP3] "What Happened to You?"