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The Offspring - Splinter (Cover Artwork)

The Offspring

The Offspring: SplinterSplinter (2003)
Sony Music Entertainment

Reviewer Rating: 3
User Rating:


Contributed by: ThreeChordsAndTheTruthThreeChordsAndTheTruth
(others by this writer | submit your own)

This was always going to be a difficult record to make. Offspring have a strange legion of fans ranging from Orange County punk rockers remembering their sun-kissed punk beginnings, to the 'hey-look-its-those-pretty-fly-guys' fans who would be amazed to learn that this record is their seventh. Their.
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This was always going to be a difficult record to make. Offspring have a strange legion of fans ranging from Orange County punk rockers remembering their sun-kissed punk beginnings, to the 'hey-look-its-those-pretty-fly-guys' fans who would be amazed to learn that this record is their seventh. Their last few records have been hit and miss, and 'Splinter' is no exception.

Originally titled 'Chinese Democracy (You Snooze, You Lose) as a 'fuck you' to Axl Rose who had been planning this title for his long awaited (11 years and counting) next record, the band eventually opted to drop this title for 'Splinter'. Noodles (guitarist) claimed on their site that the reasoning for this was not impending legal action from Rose's lawyers, but the fact that "After an exhaustive marketing study we've discovered that our fans only want Offspring records with one-word titles.". BULL.

Other problems faced include main axeman Noodles breaking a finger, delaying the recording process, and the minor issue of the band's 15 year drummer, Ron Welty, quitting the band to focus on his side project. Drum duties on 'Splinter' have been handled by Vandals/A Perfect Circle drummer, Josh Freese, and live, the band are touring with the cooly-monikered Atom Willard.

I came to this record hoping it would reassure me as an old Offspring fan. Preferring their older albums (ironically, the ones with multiple word titles) to the newer stuff, I was happy to hear quotes from singer Dexter Holland saying this record would be more like 'Smash' era Offspring. However, having lived with this record for a few weeks, I can safely say it isn't like Smash.

Beginning with opener 'Neocon', this record immediately reminded me of AFI's 'Miseria Cantare' and 'Strength Through Wounding', right down to the drumbeat-led rythmn, the chanted vocals (which incidentally were recorded in the UK at the Reading Festival, by the entire crowd). It's an opener I can't take seriously due to it's AFI similarities, but works well as an introduction to the record, showing how 'Splinter' is more of a re-hash of other, better ideas, as opposed to brand new ones.

The first 'real' track, 'The Noose', is a lite-metal/rock/dare-i-say punk track, with all the staples of an Offspring song; fast drumbeats, tons of harmonized 'whoaaa-ohhh-oh' backing vocals, and typical 'punk chords'. The song is catchy but predictable. If you're a pretty undemanding music fan who appreciates a good song but doesn't see past the unoriginality factor.

Next comes 'Long Way Home', showcasing for the first time Josh Freese's talents. This song contains what is probably my favourite 'punk' drum fill ever (check it out, .46 seconds in). However, even cool 8 bar drum fills can't save this song from descending into typical Offspring fare. It's a good tune, yeah, a real singalong, but then, so is every other Offspring song. After a few of these, you start to wonder if the band will pull something else out of their asses, for a change.

And then, they do. New single 'Hit That' begins normally enough, then cuts to a genuinely catchy synth keyboard line reminiscent of hip-hop, and even featuring programmed drums. I guess this track could be labelled as the 'Original Prankster' of 'Splinter', but it's a fun song that will probably do pretty well commercially, if not just for that keyboard line.

'Race Against Myself'. More of the same. Slowed down, could-be-Nickelback straight up rock. The band fool around with vocal effects and shit, but it doesn't do much to detract from the blandness of the track.

'(Can't Get My Head) Around You' begins with vocals that, even to the untrained ear, simply can't be Dexter (if they are, I think I need to give my Offspring back catalogue a listen again) and then cuts to a slice of their trademark punk/metal with a nice wah-wah solo courtesy of Noodles.

'The Worst Hangover Ever'. Anyone familiar already with this record has probably read with bated breath, waiting for this track to be mentioned. Oh jesus. To quote the song, "make it stop please, make it stop..". The tune is an ill advised ska song, beginning with some weirdly annoying words spoken by Dexter ("ballroom scene with the fire underneath / gonna eat you all alive / gonna bring you to your knees") and then a sneaky DJ scratch blasts from the speakers, making this reviewer curse with shock and revulsion. The lyrics are 'comedy' stylings about a terrible night of drinking, ending with the punchline of "i may not ever drink again.. at least not til next weekend". If you like this, i hate you. If Offspring release this, I'm burning their CDs.

'Never Gonna Find Me' is a fairly decent tune, one I can genuinely say I enjoyed. Fast, catchy, hook-laden and starting with a Bad Religion-esque 'whoa' chorus, it kicked me in the ass straight away.

'Lightning Rod' is another good tune, better lyrics, time changes, and a chorus that just keeps getting bigger, not to mention a rockin' breakdown. This track restored my faith in the band slightly.

'Spare Me The Details' is a track similar to the Offspring stalwart, 'Why Don't You Get A Job'. Acoustic, cheesy but honest, this track even features a spectacular 3 note piano accompaniment that made me check the liner notes for mentions of Andrew W.K. Imagine if someone bought Simon and Garfunkel some distortion pedals and a few shots, and this could be the result.

'Da Hui', a short fuk'n punk anthem dedicated to the hawaiian surfers who are like a race unto themselves, clocks in at a cool 1:42, the closest song to 'punk' on 'Splinter'. Lyrically lacking, but fuck, who cares, it's a fast paced Offspring tune complete with their trademark egyptian/eastern style guitar riffs (think 'Come Out And Play') that I like a lot.

Last on the record is the hilarious 'When You're In Prison'. When this track began, and I heard 30's style crackles and pops, and weird string music and strange vocals reminiscent of Charlie Chaplin and black and white movies, I assumed this would be one of those hip new song intros that begin with movie clips. I was wrong. The song features a weird guy's voice telling you "don't be no-one's bitch/it's bad for you" or "don't pick up the soap" and other witty tidbits. My hopes that eventually this farce would end and a kickass punk song would start were faded when after 2 minutes of this shit, not a guitar was to be heard. The song ends without any change, leaving me confused and only amused at the song's shittiness. If it was meant as a joke, someone should have told the band it stopped being funny 10 seconds in, let alone two and a half minutes.

So what's my overall opinion? This record is an Offspring record. A little short. Some shitty songs. Some decent songs. Some filler. Some weird single. It's a nice formula they have down, and the majority of their fans will eat this up unquestioningly. Others, however, will sit down and wonder when the band are going to write a better record. Finally, a few, like this reviewer, will conclude that that probably isn't going to happen again. Sorry guys.

 

 
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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.
Anonymous (February 17, 2006)

i just love this record

threechordsandthetruth (April 19, 2004)

"maybe it was an exaggeration in the name of humor."

:)

Anonymous (March 21, 2004)

I was happy enough with Americana! it's not too cheesy and anoying and some of the fast songs are really good eg Staring At The Sun, No Brakes. Conspiracy of One was okay but this was when i started to think the Offspring are not as good as they used to be and i hoped there new record would be alot better! I heard Defy You on TV and i was pretty impressed but when i recently heard Da Hui i thought Dexter is a twat! I bought the album and then i really believed he is a twat! The Worst Hang Over ever is stupid and should never be on the cd! Hit That starts off with an annoying synth line and i know alot of people like it but i hate it with a passion! the rest of the album doesn't save it from being pure shit! I think The Offspring dont really care what we think though! They are now just writing songs for themselves and songs they enjoy playing live! There is no hit song like Want You Bad or Pretty Fly! they don't need anymore hit songs! they have loads of money so they are just going to play their own music and noe going to care if their fans like it!

Shaun Smith

rightcliqificus (March 17, 2004)

I'd like to add that this reviewer is completely unaware of what "bar" means in music. by now means was that an 8 bar drum fill. maybe it was an exaggeration in the name of humor.

Anonymous (January 12, 2004)

ok, this is one of the records of the year. this rating is because and the long pause after the "conspiracy" but i think is much beter than the last 2...so don't fuck with the offspring

Anonymous (December 26, 2003)

Looks to me like I'm one of the 7 people on this site that actually like this record.

Josh

Anonymous (December 24, 2003)

Sucka my dick you moron

Anonymous (December 24, 2003)

download the noose and lightning rod from this album because theyre the 2 best offspring songs ever!

Anonymous (December 23, 2003)

Hey why dont you two go to the ass fucking bar?????

Anonymous (December 23, 2003)

"Can anyone pinpoint the exact moment intentionally confusing sarcasm became a trend on this site?"

I think you just did.

inagreendase (December 23, 2003)

"J: I always thought the 'New Reviews' box was added in order of the newest reviews.. and as this one is labelled '[2]', I figured that's why its at the top?"

It has nothing to do with it. The factors that go into how the reviews are listed are two things:

1) Importance or significance;

Examples: A1) Despite being a second review, the Offspring, one of the most well-known bands who are covered on the site, have released a new album.

A2) Kid Dynamite are considered one of the most influential bands of the last decade, and they've released a capstone of B-sides on their career.

2) Whether or not the review was written by a staff reviewer or a user submitting it. The top of the list tends to favor staff as you might imagine.

On one more note,

"I love this album. It's punk the way its supposed to be played, not like that stupid Anti-flag band. In my opinion, there are only three bands better than the Offspring: Good Charlotte, Simple Plan, and Senses Fail(they make thursday look like a joke)"

Can anyone pinpoint the exact moment intentionally confusing sarcasm became a trend on this site?

Anonymous (December 23, 2003)

A nice formula????? they have a nice formula he says... what an asshole and this guy reviews music

mikeinflames (December 22, 2003)

I have not heard this album ... and I have no intention to listen to it
But I am giving it a rating of 1 because my opinion is valid
You see ... some people don't understand that people come to this site to share thier opinions and express thier point of view
Look around at the site ... I'm pretty sure that's what it is designed to do

So Mr. Clownshoes ... how about you shut your face about what other people have to say ... and realize that by saying what you did ... you are doing that in which your are making fun of itself
So in fact it is you who should be eating shit ... not everyone else

And as a side note ... if this site pisses you off so much ... why do you come here?
Idiots like yourself really should think about what they say before they say it

Anonymous (December 22, 2003)

As someone who is a huge fan of the first 4 Offspring albums, and generally a very well informed supporter of this band, I find some of the comments posted both by the reviewer and the forum visitors as a combination of insulting and sophomoric. The Offspring a great band in that there songs are variable in style, from All I Want to Dirty Magic. The fact of the matter is, punk rock is not a medium that rewards actual quality music. Some of these bands described here are, like A Simple Plan, are bland, loud, talentless, unispired, boring, or some combination of the above smorgasbord of adjectives. True, the Offspring have gotten weaker since they have become a more well known band, and have not quite returned to what I believe was their perfect stage of developement with Ignition. Nevertheless, the Offspring are a seasoned band that know how to balance the positives of punk rock with the simple definitions of high quality music in general, and claiming that the Offspring are actually skinning their music (which was born in 1984) of off a low-class angst-ridden teenager band is comical and derogatory.

Yan Margolin

TheDamager (December 22, 2003)

soory...this is my official rating

TheDamager (December 22, 2003)

This band should be sent to prison for coming out with "pretty fly for a white guy"....and for coming out with that song, i will never listen to this band again....their best cd was "ignition." from there on it has been mediocrity fused with an attempt to get rich through selling out...selling their soul. i was a fan of ignition and now i feel that i have been sodomized by these fucking worthless sellouts. This band disgusts me and they have stripped themselves of all punk credibility with those fucking worthless MTV songs they had a few years back. FUCK YOU OFFSPRING...You are terrible people and I hate you. Why don't you write about something with a shred of importance? Fucking ska hangover idiots.

Anonymous (December 22, 2003)

"If you like this, i hate you. If Offspring release this, I'm burning their CDs.

what the fuck is this about matt?"

It's a joke. I don't like the song at all, and if it was ever released, and the shit-eating masses get to hear it, I will forever be known as the guy who likes 'that worst hangover ever band'. If they have the poor judgement to release it, I'll lose my faith.

Janelle: I don't really care, it's a minor point.

To the guy below me, give me 3 good reasons why the hangover song is good, besides the fact that you identify with the lyrics.

Anonymous (December 22, 2003)

"The Worst Hangover Ever" - If you like this, i hate you.

As I hate you! I guess this song is a much better song if you're old enough to drink (not a teenage shit) because I find this song rather enjoyable, especially when I relate it to my own hangover!

Anonymous (December 22, 2003)

This albums pretty sweet espeically cos Jim from Pennywise does backups on long way home. Better than Americania and c01 but is that saying much?

Anonymous (December 22, 2003)

smoke weed everyday

Anonymous (December 22, 2003)

Why is it that both reviews of this crappy record reviewed each individual song on the damn thing. " the next song that came on............." and blahblahblahblahblah ":after that was a decent song reminding me of my summers at an all boys retreat" blahblahblahblah " and the last song made me made that they had a turntable."

Anonymous (December 22, 2003)

I have to say that im a little upset at all the Offspring bashing. Fist, all these people who say they loved old school Offspring but site smash (their most commercialy accepted album)as their first offspring album need to stop complaining. Second, this album sounds just like every other offspring album.They have fast hard guitars and introspective as well social lyrics. My examples are "hit that" (a song about the epidemic of babies having more babies), the noose ( a vauge warning of the political climate), and long way home ( a song about finding your own path. Granted, the guitars are a little to polished and they released some joke singles that are not the best representations of the band but but for a group of kids who heard self esteem on the radio to be yelling "this isn't punk" sounds to me like a bunch of insecure teenagers, (try being punk rock without mom and dad supporting you). For anyone who is trying to decide about this album I would descibe it as the same old Offspring with an overproduced sound. let the childish hate begin.

boba_fett (December 21, 2003)

toooooooooooooooooooo long

Anonymous (December 20, 2003)

For what I was expecting, this album was pretty good. Songs 2, 3, and 11 are the only real punk songs but they're very good songs. Song 10, Spare me the details, is a poppy song and for the first time I actually like a poppy song by the Offspring. However, the other poppy songs on this cd like the radio single "Hit that" and "Worst hangover ever" flat out suck.

MattHomeslice (December 20, 2003)

"anyone ever notice that their singer sounds like weird al?"

Ever heard Weird Al's "Pretty Fly For a Rabbi"? They DO sound a lot alike!

Anonymous (December 20, 2003)

To the guy that said offspring is better, maybe you should shoot yourself because "You Don't Mean Anything to Me" My fav. SP song.

Anonymous (December 20, 2003)

To the kid who actually said that good charlotte and simple plan are better than the offspring - shoot yourself. the offspring aint that great but c'mon, they could release an entire album of themselves making stupid noises and it'd be better than listening to those other two horrible groups

Anonymous (December 20, 2003)

I love this album. It's punk the way its supposed to be played, not like that stupid Anti-flag band. In my opinion, there are only three bands better than the Offspring: Good Charlotte, Simple Plan, and Senses Fail(they make thursday look like a joke)

Anonymous (December 20, 2003)

If you want marginally innovative, inane, yet catchy punk, then buy this-- used.

Don't reward the Offspring with royalties for doing little more than the same dreck since "Americana."

I still like the Offspring from their earlier stuff, but___________ehh.

Anonymous (December 20, 2003)

why did i type nut?

Anonymous (December 20, 2003)

nut SkaOffspring(said skoffspring) is awesome! Actually never heard the new one

TheEvilMonkey (December 20, 2003)

"anyone ever notice that their singer sounds like weird al?"

If there was an observation of the day award, that sure as hell would be one of them. Weird Al. LoL.

Anonymous (December 20, 2003)

anyone ever notice that their singer sounds like weird al?

Anonymous (December 20, 2003)

To two comments below me.

I STILL listen to ska. I guess I'm a big loser. Worst Hangover Ever and Spare Me The Details are my two favorite songs as well.

I agree wtih you that the rest of the album is pretty standard Offspring, but I don't think that's a bad thing. It's a heck of a lot better than their last two albums, especially Americana.

Anonymous (December 20, 2003)

"J: I always thought the 'New Reviews' box was added in order of the newest reviews.. and as this one is labelled '[2]', I figured that's why its at the top?"

No. For example, last Tuesday's batch, TSOL came ahead of Garrison, and TSOL is older, even though it is a reissue...
-Janelle

Anonymous (December 20, 2003)

perfect review, but u might be being too nice. i'd give it 2 stars. i too am a long time offspring fan (i came in during the 'smash' era) and i am thourougly dissapointed.

but i will say this...i like 'the worst hangover ever'. didnt any of u ever listen to ska? i'm 23 and definately remmeber when ska shows packed the house and the warped tour would have half the mainstage be ska. so fuck u young kids. ska rules and so does getting drunk. take your straight edge emo haircut dork ass's out of my punk rock and stay in your whiny bitch pretentious emo world.

the best song also in my opinion is 'spare me the details'. sorry. most people will disagree w/ all of these opinions, but i find the song to be the catchyist and dexters vocals the most urgent. could blow up the offspring to 'pretty fly' era fame.

the rest of the album is either shit (da hui, the intro) or retarded (when your in prison, hit that). the others 6 tracks are standard offspring punk songs. all average, none really stand out, maybe lightning rod does a little.

Anonymous (December 20, 2003)

If you like this, i hate you. If Offspring release this, I'm burning their CDs.

what the fuck is this about matt?

Anonymous (December 20, 2003)

J: I always thought the 'New Reviews' box was added in order of the newest reviews.. and as this one is labelled '[2]', I figured that's why its at the top?

Jesse (December 20, 2003)

Why is this CD even in existance? I, for one, believe this to be as vulgar as The Beach Boys were believed to be, so let's all go out and burn every single shitty Offspring record, which is every one of them. This score is for me, and how much cooler than you I am.

Anonymous (December 20, 2003)

dude, that's not what i was asking - i didn't say "why did you review it again?" but why is it at the top spot?
-J

Anonymous (December 20, 2003)

I wrote this. Okay:

"If that's a cool moniker...well...yeah i don't know how to finish here...
-Janelle "

um.. I think Atom is a cool name?

"just a general question - if this is the second review of this record, why is it worthy of the top spot on the review list??"

in my rush to submit this, I failed to check for another review. There wasn't one in the list to the left, so I assumed there hadn't been one yet. Apologies.

"why doesnt someone who is a music fan rather than a "scene" and "identity" fan write a review for this cd."

dude. i write for scenepointblank.com - i posted this here after posting it there. Seriously, if you didn't like this review, I wish one of the other guys on the zine had reviewed it. Now THEY are "scene", and would have given this a 2 maximum. I said in the review, I like the band, and was trying to be fair. Check this out: http://board.scenepointblank.com/viewtopic.php?t=575 - I got shit from another writer for scoring it so highly. so yeah.

"As a longtime Offspring song, 'Race Against Myself' is hands down my favorite song on the record. Nickleback? You're smokin' crack. It's a great mid-tempo rocker and reminiscint of "Gotta Get Away" and "Self-Esteem.""

ehh. each to their own. the chorus is cool, i guess.

I'm counting Ixnay as an older record simply because it came out before 'Pretty Fly..' did, hah.

"I'm wondering why we have to suffer through another review of this pile of shit?"

-like i said, i didn't know it had been done already. and no-one made you click this..

-Matt

Anonymous (December 20, 2003)

just a general question - if this is the second review of this record, why is it worthy of the top spot on the review list??

-Janelle

Anonymous (December 20, 2003)

"live, the band are touring with the cooly-monikered Atom Willard."

If that's a cool moniker...well...yeah i don't know how to finish here...
-Janelle

Anonymous (December 20, 2003)

why doesnt someone who is a music fan rather than a "scene" and "identity" fan write a review for this cd. this album is a solid offspring album with the exception of "when you're in prison"

Anonymous (December 20, 2003)

Good, honest, interesting review.

I liked it.

Anonymous (December 20, 2003)

"Get your hands off of my WOOOOOMAN, motherfuuucker!"

Anonymous (December 20, 2003)

Ignition. that's all you need to know about the offspring. pretend that's the only cd they made and you have a pretty good band. their other discs just didn't have the proportion of kickassedness about them. ixnay...? conspiracy...? americana? there's no excuse for those ones.

MattHomeslice (December 19, 2003)

I could never like this band because the singer's voice just gets on my nerves

Anonymous (December 19, 2003)

alls i know is that The Darkness is the shit! "i belive in a thing called love.."

Anonymous (December 19, 2003)

Couple comments. As a longtime Offspring song, 'Race Against Myself' is hands down my favorite song on the record. Nickleback? You're smokin' crack. It's a great mid-tempo rocker and reminiscint of "Gotta Get Away" and "Self-Esteem."

Second, you say you like the band's "older records" but then say you prefer the ones with multiple words in the title. First one to do that is Ixnay which didn't even hit 'til, what '96 or '97 after they signed to a major? Just sayin...

That said, I don't think Splinter is a great record at all. You're right, a couple good ones, a couple bad ones, and some filler. Plus the fact that when you factor out the intro and the joke song at the end, you're left with 10 songs coming in at under a half hour.

Anonymous (December 19, 2003)

My ADD can't handle that long review.

Anonymous (December 19, 2003)

"Others, however, will sit down and wonder when the band are going to write a better record."

I'm wondering why we have to suffer through another review of this pile of shit?

Anonymous (December 19, 2003)

Hey, I care about it and I read the whole thing. Dick

Anonymous (December 19, 2003)

First! Nobody cares about another review of this

-BSD

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