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The Offspring - Smash (Cover Artwork)

The Offspring

The Offspring: SmashSmash (1994)
Epitaph Records

Reviewer Rating: 5
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Contributed by: RENALDO69RENALDO69
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When it comes to those bands who punk followers should be bowing down to, The Offspring leap off the page. They paved roads in the '90s for the movement to walk through and it's been a great ride listening to them do it along the way. While their self-titled (1989) and Ignition in 1992 were earmarke.
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When it comes to those bands who punk followers should be bowing down to, The Offspring leap off the page. They paved roads in the '90s for the movement to walk through and it's been a great ride listening to them do it along the way. While their self-titled (1989) and Ignition in 1992 were earmarked as the records that made The Offspring who they were, to me it's Smash that best represents the right amount of old-school punk, new-rock subversion and tinkering with various other genres which really made their formative identity whole and totally standout. Dookie showed 1994 just how the underground could go mainstream and shock the world, and more so, punk fans as well as cynics. However, Smash also joined in and added much more flair to the scene that may have been confused, angry or exploited by its success but nonetheless, for its commercial worth, you simply couldn't dispute how legendary this album was, and still is, in the rich history of punk. This album to me is the biggest draw in the holster of The Offspring's legacy and in the annals of rock music -- and music, in general. It's not just a great rock album but it's a masterpiece in the lore of music,

Dexter Holland's best narrative came on this album to me. The next time I really felt waves of this was on Americana in 1998 because songs like "Have You Ever" and "The Kids Aren't Alright" felt like they were made for Smash. The band on the whole really combined their best outlays of hardcore-punk, skate-punk, alternative-punk and other little sub-genres to really crack a hole in your speakers. "Nitro (Youth Energy)" is pretty self-explanatory as it's relentless and surely what bands like After The Fall, Jaguar Shark and the now-defunct Bathurst plastered on their walls. It was one of those drilling sounds that had commercial labels running down NOFX, Bad Religion and Pennywise also because it showed that there was a potential fire sale on punk and 1994 was cash-in time. Not all cashed in but again, unadulterated punk becoming such a brand and also globally recognized was sure to polarize views, given that Europe and Oceania were biting as well at how the scene developed. "Bad Habit" felt like this kick in the teeth as it was a song that packed power and grit yet was one of the tunes that funneled the band away from sweaty clubs into bigger arenas and of course, more MTV airtime. However, their sound wouldn't dilute or show wear and tear for a couple of years, so haters couldn't hate as much and fans were offered much more peacetime in terms of relief as they kept getting great music.

Holland remained assertive, political and personal. Noodles' riffage and and Greg K's fucking thunderous bass spoke volumes. They all joined in with the usual wealth of 'whoas' and 'heys' over Ron Welty's smacking drums as if to stick a middle finger to those who ignored them or to those who wrongfully criticized them. This really did come off as their biggest statement, reinforcing every tenet of The Offspring. It felt like the very fabric of the band was ingrained into you. "Gotta Get Away" and "Genocide" told these stories brilliantly. "Something To Believe In" was an anthem for you and your friends to mosh to with fists raised and a reason to go to school with a mohawk, say "fuck you" to the principal and head home. It was anti-establishment without trying too hard, or at all. At times, they were heavy, even crossing over a tad with grunge, and then at others, they were so coy and tongue-in-cheek a la "Self Esteem."

Let's take a moment to recognize those friends who suffered from this whippage and who still do -- and whom you think of when you hear this track.

Whew. We're good? Cool. Let's proceed.

These made them all the more listenable. Expectations were blown away and touring heavily really paid dividends, in ways I'm sure shocked the band beyond belief. To temper dark, edgy punk with pop-punk so well, really proved a highly commendable feat. To make it connective was an even bigger accomplishment but one they pulled off so smoothly and with such sass. "Come Out and Play" featured a Middle Eastern-influenced guitar riff while touching on violence in schools and gangs while crossing over to another realm of the band's diversity, in the ska-driven vehicle "What Happened To You" -- further enhancing how all-round they were.

Their sound may well be considered fabled given that few could replicate what to do. It was a symbol. The motifs of the album: death, greed, suicide, violence, addiction and abuse -- were all things we needed to focus on and Holland caught the music industry's attention very well. It was a hard-rock album as well as many other enthusiasts latched on and still do to the momentum of Smash. It feels like the most complete of their arsenal because they seemed to be in the right place and right time of their lives -- balanced and dedicated -- while unfurling their flag however they saw fit and with no one to really rein them in. That kind of freedom is priceless and if you wanna debate that, pop this record in. Let its music cure you. Blistering. Intense. It smashes your fucking brains in. Beautifully.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
NOFX - Punk in DrublicWeezer - WeezerBad Religion - Stranger Than FictionGreen Day - DookieRancid - Let's GoLagwagon - TrashedDescendents - Milo Goes To CollegeNOFX - Punk In DrublicThe Clash - London CallingBomb the Music Industry! - Adults!!!: Smart!!! Shithammered!!! And Excited by Nothing!!!

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
sleepwalker (August 16, 2014)

JayTee called it.

danperrone (August 15, 2014)

"This was the very first album I heard that I didn't get bored with the "filler" tracks. Once Nitro hit with those fast drums, I never wanted to hear any other kind of music again."

my sentiments exactly, nearly perfect record

Sho-Nuff (August 15, 2014)

crap

NattyBoh (August 15, 2014)

I don't really like the Offspring... at all... but for some reason I still really like this album.

JayTee (August 15, 2014)

This was the very first album I heard that I didn't get bored with the "filler" tracks. Once Nitro hit with those fast drums, I never wanted to hear any other kind of music again.

badseed (August 15, 2014)

5 stars for nostalgia and importance as a gateway to more obscure punk, maybe 3 stars for the music.

D3SH (August 15, 2014)

Gotta admit I've never understood the adoration this album gets. Much prefer Ixnay, personally.

lostcausegiveup (August 15, 2014)

5 stars all the way. I was 14 when this came out, and it opened a lot of door for my musical tastes.

davebrave4 (August 14, 2014)

Something tells me there will be a lot of five-star reviews before the week has ended.

kickaha (August 14, 2014)

Right album at the right time and the rest is history. I was a big fan of Ignition and really liked this when it came out. I soon got sick of it after it got so popular and was played everywhere. Have gone back to it over the years and remembered what a great high energy album it is. Saw them last year at a festival and was impressed by how good they still sound live.

tahoejeff (August 14, 2014)

I was listening to this record a bunch earlier this year. It still holds up imho.

paulrulzdood (August 14, 2014)

a fantastic album of course, a gateway drug for many including me to get into punk before I even knew that it was punk rock (I thought this was a grunge album when I got it)

my only complaint is the production values really haven't aged well. it sounds kind of bad while many other records from '94, including Dookie or Punk in Drublic, sound so much better. Not sure if it's the mixing or the mastering but something sounds tinny and hollow when I hear it anymore.

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