Even when they were breaking through with 1994’s six times platinum album Smash, The Offspring were never quite as gritty as Rancid, as endearing as NOFX or as good as Green Day. Since then they’ve stuck to an unchanging formula that’s unafraid to take in the odd novelty song. Consequently they’ve sold over 36 million albums, a near miraculous feat for four regular guys.
Nothing if not consistent, The Offspring’s ninth studio album – the first to feature former Face To Face/Saves The Day drummer Pete Parrada – offers little in the way of surprises.
They’ve clearly they’ve been drinking the elixir of youth though, because The Offspring are more than capable of dashing out power chord anthems that still go overboard on the “whoah”s. I Wanna Secret Family (With You) recalls the mid-American power-pop of Cheap Trick while Secrets From The Underground could be straight off 1998’s Americana.
Then they go and spoil it with the awful bootie-shaking, vocoder-featuring rap-pop song Cruising California (Bumpin’ In My Trunk) – the sound of a band desperately fellating MTV programmers. One word fellas: no. And another: dignity.