The Offspring - Rise And Fall, Rage And Grace (Cover Artwork)

The Offspring

Rise And Fall, Rage And Grace (2008)


I don't really believe reviews are useful, nowadays. It takes so little to download or stream the album that reading someone else's opinion won't change your mind on listening to it. Unless of course what interests you is what other people think about it, which is I think the reason why there are still so many reviews around. So most of you have probably already listened to this album, and made you idea on it. Here's mine.

Offspring was the first punk band I ever listened to. Back when Americana was out I fell in love with these guys, and since then I haven't missed a show (they've been very few though) or a record, including of course the older ones.

Since that album their style has remained pretty much the same, and because of that listening to Rise & Fall, Rage & Grace was somehow like re-listening to Americana for the first time: same tunes, but new ones. And this is also why I can't avoid loving it, just like I love everything they've made since 1989. So as I said, nothing new under the sun. The ones familiar with The Offspring know they've always cloned themselves, copied their own songs, and this record is no exception, only now they are, say "taking inspiration" from other bands as well. The piano intro to the first track "Half-Truism" is exactly like Muse's "Newborn," while the slow chorus sounds reminds a bit of My Chemical Romance's "Helena." Despite all that the song is very powerful with a typical Offspring verse, whoo-hoos, fast paced and all. The verse of "Trust In You," the guitar riff and the drums mainly, is almost identical to "Smash," and "You're Gonna Go Far Kid" features a chorus which is a rip off from Muse again, this one being "Time Is Running Out." Both songs I like anyway, the former classic melodic hardcore, the latter with its almost dance drums, whose compressed sound is definitely well produced. The first single "Hammerhead" is another typical Offspring fast song, with some nice screams form Dexter at the end, sadly almost the only ones in the album. "A Lot Like Me" is a rock ballad, which they're pretty good at writing, and despite being maybe a little cheesy it's not so different from the older ones, like "Gone Away" or "Denial, Revisited."

I'd say these first five songs are the better part of the record. "Takes Me Nowhere" is a mid-tempo, not good and not bad, "Kristy Are You Doin Ok" is almost acoustic and almost boring. "Nothingtown" and "Stuff Is Messed Up" are two triplets songs, both catchy and especially the former very Green Day sounding. Speaking of which, "Fix You" besides being probably the worst song on the record is also a bad rip off of "Wake Me Up When September Ends." "Let's Hear It From Rock Bottom" has a melancholic sort-of-reggae verse and some nice lyrics about apathy, and the final title track is as someone noted a mix between (once again) Green Day's "American Idiot" and "The Loved Ones' 100k," not too bad anyway.

So, I'm not looking for and I don't expect many new ideas in punk rock anymore, and most of the times when I come across some they sound pretentious and artificial. What I enjoy is when the old style is well played and in my opinion The Offspring can really do that.