OFF! - Live at Generation Records [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Live at Generation Records [7-inch] (2011)


With their debut release, The First Four EPs, OFF! seemed to be reaching as far forward as they were backward. Although their tunes paid homage to hardcore's nascent stage, their music was far from mere nostalgia. Instead of just thinking about "the good ol' days", The First Four EPs seemed to suggest that music had once again become bloated and indulgent, and OFF! was here to prove that you didn't need anything more than a few instruments and a tape recorder to cut monstrous bangers.

To further their back-to-the-basics approach, OFF! played a number of record store shows, including Amoeba and Generation Records. Live at Generation Records, a release for Record Store Day 2011, is a snapshot of the band in their early (but fully-formed) stage.

Tearing through four songs in rapid succession, the band makes it clear that their first album was, for all intents and purposes, a live album without an audience. The songs here don't deviate too much from their studio counterparts, except that they are a little fiercer and a little faster. But, coming off a record that was only about 16 minutes long and prominently featured Keith Morris' barking and Dimitri Coats' slashing, the difference is for fanboys to savor*. However, "Poison City" does feature a new ending where the band breaks down into a mess of squeals and clangs instead of its previous break-slam stop–something of a Greg Ginn trademark.

Because this release is limited and the versions here aren't that different from their studio counterparts, collectors will enjoy it immensely, but the average fan should just go for The First Four EPs.

* - Guilty as charged. I ain't got nothin' to prove to you guys, anyways.