OFF! - Compared to What [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Compared to What [7-inch] (2011)

Southern Lord

Before embarking on their first national tour, OFF! solicited fans via Facebook for suggestions for cover songs to be featured on this seven-inch. Ignoring the fans' obvious suggestions (including my own Alice Cooper pitch...*sniff sniff*), they picked two fairly obscure songs that despite being written over a decade before any band member first recorded music, sound like they were specifically composed for the band.

"Compared to What", the A-Side is a cover of a Eugene McDaniels* composition. Although the band supplies new backing music that fits in line with their short, snappy hardcore, Morris interjects his vitriolic snarl into the lyrics. Where McDaniels' version seem to be a call together for the oppressed, Morris' take on the lyrics seem to be warning the oppressor to just back up, man, Just. Back. Up!

The B-side, "Rotten Apple" is a cover of an obscure tune by the regional garage band ID. The lyrics fit perfectly to OFF!'s themes of not quite fitting in anywhere and being forced into clothes that don't quit fit. While the original had a good-timey bop despite its down lyrics, OFF! once again rev up the engine and make the song not so much a fun time as an angry one.

Only about a year old, OFF! has already released a 7" box set, a live EP, and a covers single. If they can keep up that pace with this level of quality, then the best musical output of these individuals artists is likely yet to come.

* - For those of you even marginally interested in soul, funk, and blues, you should check out Eugene McDaniels' Headless Heroes of the Apocalypse, an album that is as weird as it is fantastic.