CD review THE OFFSPRING ‘Let the Bad Times Roll’

A band, that wrote one of the hymns of my youth is The Offspring. I don’t know how often I listened to ‘Self Esteem’ and its iconic beginning. The songs had been played so often when we kids went out on the baseball field for circling the bases. That was in the ’90s. In the meantime, we are a big leap further in time and it became a bit quite about The Offspring over the last years.

The latest studio album is ‘Days Go By’ and was published in 2012. After nearly 10 years, the band from Garden Grove, California returns with a next record. ‘Let the Bad Times Roll’ is the title of this twelve songs featuring longplayer. Now, longplayer might not even be the best description of ‘Let Bad Times Roll’ since the record clocks in at 33 minutes and is thereby more a shortplayer. Having mentioned this means also that we ticked off the only downer of this release. I guess that a lot of people expected a bit more than half an hour, after having been without a new The Offspring album for a decade.

The good news is, that ‘Let the Bad Times Roll’ became an exciting and colorful punk rock album that helps to ignite a party vibe in the grey days of pandemic. The Offspring’s newest offer sweeps away the grey clouds of winter and brings the Californian sunshine to your place.

Photo: Daveed Benito

With Bob Rock at the helm, The Offspring crafted an album that’s a livewire. The start with ‘This is Not Utopia’ couldn’t be much better. The brisk opener is a super-spreader when it comes to a good mood, a song that has a great punch. What follows is the grooving title track and ‘Behind the Walls’, a song that starts slower and evolves into a moderate paced punk rock.

One be hooked to the songs already during the first spinning of the record. ‘Army of One’ and the very rhythm-based ‘Break These Bones’ stand for a good continuation of what began with the opener. A different style comes to plate with ‘We Never Have Sex Anymore’ and you wonder if such a topic comes with age. However, the addition of a horn section gives this songs a cool expression. The tune is different and still 100% The Offspring. For me, this song has a big hit potential and I wonder if the track will become a single release.

The reason of the ‘The Hall of the Mountain King’ doesn’t disclose itself to me and the same goes for the one minute closer ‘Lullaby’. Two real songs would have been the better option, tracks like the forceful ‘Hassan Chop’ and the soulful ‘Gone Away’.

The sum it up: ‘Let the Bad Times Roll’ is a very well-done punk rock album and The Offspring found the right balance of musical variety within their own trademarks. It’s for sure fun to listen to these songs more than once and if there would have been 2-3 more tunes on this longplayer, nobody would have suffered of it.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. This Is Not Utopia
  2. Let The Bad Times Roll
  3. Behind Your Walls
  4. Army of One
  5. Breaking These Bones
  6. Coming For You
  7. We Never Have Sex Anymore
  8. In The Hall of the Mountain King
  9. The Opioid Diaries
  10. Hassan Chop
  11. Gone Away
  12. Lullaby 

Label: Concord Records

Genre: Punk Rock

Release Date EU: April 16th, 2021

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