Release date: 2012May08
Label: VICE Music
Fronted by former Black Flag and Circle Jerks vocalist Keith Morris, OFF! return with a proper album. The first thing you’ll notice is the cover artwork, done by none other than Raymond Pettibon (who also did the artwork for their First Four EPs set. The second thing you’ll notice is the length of the tracks, which range from 42 seconds to nearly 1 minute and 40 seconds. Sounds promising.
“Wiped Out” opens with the snotty vocals of Morris that compliment an early-80s So-Cal approach to hardcore. Fast, loud, aggressive. Very much like the bands that Morris once fronted. On “I Got News For You”, Morris’ voice sounds a lot like a cross between Jello Biafra and Iggy Pop. Musically, the latter. Intentional or not, “Cracked” pays homage to D.C hardcore (Minor Threat, Bad Brains). “Toxic Box” has the silliness of Fang with a similar bite.
You could definitely say that each track lays out OFF!’s influences while at the same time, attempting to refine their sound. “Man From Nowhere” is a convincing attempt to branch out into something original and it works, sort-of. Ditto for “King Kong Brigade”, though it’s the more anthemic of both. “Feelings Are Meant To Be Hurt” is another excellent anthem. The rest of the tracks don’t really interest me but “I Want One” is a decent closer.
I’m a little disappointed here. I was hoping for more variation in song length and depth. If you’re a fan of short, fast and loud hardcore,, you will most certainly enjoy this album. Me? I still prefer my copies of Nervous Breakdown and Group Sex. Check it out regardless!!