Overall Score: 7/10 Originally released on vinyl in 1989 through Nemesis Records, this is the first studio album by famed punk rock band The Offspring. Singles include "I'll Be Waiting/Blackball".
- Jennifer Lost The War
- Out On Patrol
- Demons (A Mexican Fiesta)
- A Thousand Days
- I'll Be Waiting
- Kill The President
Jennifer Lost The War - Dealing with people's apathy to certain dramatic events (Little Miss 1565, for example), this song is one of the better ones. The lyrics seem to reflect a bit of anger at people and the media for basically having such an indifferent attitude toward traumatic events (such as the cirus fire for Little Miss 1565). Musically, there are some complicated drum set rhythms here beyond your basic eighth note hi hat/2 and 4 snare beat, as well as some nice sounding guitar parts. The bass in here isn't bad, but nothing amazing. It's the best choice for an introduction to the album, and flows well into the next track, Elders.
Elders - Aside from being another good track on the album, this song has THE lamest ending The Offspring could've ever done. It's almost like Dexter (frontman) was writing the song, and literally just stopeed after the last verse and slapped a few chords on the end to finish things up. Big "WTF?" moment. Anyways, Elders details the general frustration with the protagonist's...elders, and they all seem to want to guide him to be a perfect person.
Out On Patrol - This track is an oddly upbeat depressing song. It tells the story of a soldier who is...you guessed it, out on patrol, and finds himself hopelessly stranded after stepping on a landmine. Not being able to move, the lyrics ask the soldier: "what revelation have you now" now that he is trapped and doomed. It goes on to give a glimmer of light to the poor guy as the song makes mention of his friends coming to save him, only to see the enemy approaching the helpless soldier. Although it doesn't come right out and say it, you can probably guess that the dude is inevitably killed. Take note that this is the first of very few Offspring songs to contain an acoustic guitar part throughout their entire discography. Along with it, a basic drum and bass part accompany.
Crossroads - The album takes a darker route as Crossroads comes along. It's pretty simple, really. The protagonist is at a crossroads in life, and while he doesn't want to leave the things he holds dear (the "she" in the song is suggested as may or maybe not being the love of his life), his future is pulling at him to continue down life's hard road. Nothing musically astounding here.
Demons (A Mexican Fiesta) - Demons depicts a scene of religious sacrifice. Nothing much to be heard here, it's an average song with some nice sixteenth note hi - hat work near the end.
Beheaded - Told from a murderer's perspective, Beheaded is about decapitation, and the thrill and pleasure the narrator gets from the act. It seems to start with killing his parents, as he doesn't approve of the negative things they say ("daddy called me a silly bore"). Then, he moves onto his girlfriend, and soon he leaves his house just looking for people to kill and collect their heads. Hm. A great song to listen to when angry, but this one doesn't really show any extreme musicianship.
Tehran - Suggesting that the American government only cares about figures, not human life, and thus brings suffering upon itself, Tehran is one of very few political Offspring songs. The first four bars of the song contain a cool bass groove from bassist Greg K. The rest of the band shows off some fine playing throughout as well.
A Thousand Days - Tells the story of how two lovers constantly hurt each other, and while the subject would like to let her go and have success elsewhere, he can't seem to let go. Kind of a filler track, nothing really awesome.
Blackball - This song is some raw Offspring. Here we see a track that could stack up well with some of their stuff from Ignition onto about '97's Ixnay On The Hombre. It's an energetic song, and speaks about the "new disease", and how it has affected the world, along with remembering the world was before. Sorta confusing.
I'll Be Waiting - Here is where the The Offspring starts to pick up a bit. It's a good prelude to the finale. This time, Dexter seems to be wishing for friendships and loves that live up to the glory, instead of being filled with lies and facades. Nice music, and the placement at the end of the album was a good idea, methinks.
Kill The President - Some of the boys' finest playing comes from this song here. The name is misleading as singer/writer Dexter Holland says that it's not about assassination, rather than taking control of our lives. This song seems to go hand in hand with Tehran in that they both blame a lot of America's troubles from sources within. The song starts out with a semi complex drum set beat from drummer Ron Welty, continuing with a bass groove from Greg K., and then a guitar snippet from lead guiarist Noodles. Noodles later has a solo in the song.
Overall, the album is good for what it is, which is the very first effort from a group of kids barely out of high school, trying to put out some good music. There's not a single track here that I would specifically skip on my playlist nor are there any that I would rather scratch my ears off with a brick rather than listen to them. They improve after this with their 1992 release Ignition, and 1994's Smash. Instrumentation is limited to your basic electric guitar, bass, drum set, and vocals, and, in Out On Patrol's case, an acoustic guitar. There are only a few songs out of the eleven included that showcase any more than basic musicianship, but they are more than enough to prove The Offspring's talent and cohesiveness as a group. Overall score, you may ask? 7/10. A good group of songs, with some deep subject matter and great lyrics. I recommend a borrow/rent/purchase/download if you ever come across it.
Also accepted are questions, comments, concerns, or snide remarks you may have for my review. It was my first ever and I'd like to hear some opinions, but don't be too harsh now.