The Offspring - Ixnay on the Hombre (Cover Artwork)

The Offspring

Ixnay on the Hombre (1997)


I was in an Offspring mood. So I popped in Ignition and Ixnay on the Hombre - two incredible albums that really had gotten me into punk rock when a few years ago. Looking through the reviews index, I noticed all the Offspring albums have at one point or another been reviewed - with the exception of this one and their 1989 self-titled release. I flipped a coin and decided to review this. I always wanted to do a review because I noticed some kid was mentioning how Blink182 were better than The Offspring, and that enraged me. See, this is me enraged.

The Offspring had just left Epitaph, because good 'ol Mr. Brett was supposedly trying to control their music and make them "the poster boys of punk rock", which is what Dexter Holland and the rest of The Offspring didn't want. So they signed at Columbia Records for less money - but this didn't stop some people from already calling them sellouts (and boy would they have fun when they later released Americana... insert somewhat bitter smile). Anyway, so what's this album all about? It's a mix of some pop-punk and hardcore punk that The Offspring is so known for. The sound was actually a bit more similar to Ignition, rather than Smash... albeit a tad poppier sounding.

The album starts out with very generic Offspring sounding songs. I really don't want to use the word 'generic', but there is no other way to describe it. But trust me, I mean that in the best way possible, because from about 1993-1997, I'd say the generic Offspring song is probabaly the most interesting and best music you would really ever hear on the radio (well, more like 1995-1997 then).

What makes this album standout are the singles, which ironically was the reason Americana failed so miserably in the mind of many close-minded punks including myself. What were the singles to Ixnay, you must ask? Gone Away, I Choose, and All I Want. There might have been another, but I'm not positive. Point being, these three songs are fucking incredible and there's nothing else anyone can say to that.

Gone Away is one of the saddest songs I've heard in my life, and this is coming from a punk band. I Choose, on the other hand, is a song that features Dexter's incredible songwriting ability. It even took me a little while to understand the true meaning of this song. As for All I Want, that's a very generic punk song. But once again, I use generic in a good sense because, let's face it, everyone loves the good generic punk song about how you hate your family and you just want to live your life.

Another standout song, in my opinion, is Amazed which is the second to last song on the album. It's another tear-jerker! Well, I mean, if you are a very sensitive person. Other songs like Leave it Behind and Change the World help fill this very good track list, which is one of the first and still best punk rock albums I've heard.