The Offspring Remain True to Themselves With 9th Release

The Offspring

Days Go By

Columbia; 2012

With this most recent audio drama (the ninth, for anyone who’s keeping score) The Offspring do a neat trick of staying true to themselves and delivering something fresh in the process. With 20-plus years under their belt, they’re a band that could easily get by with an autopilot performance, but this is anything but flippand or cliché. Days Go By delivers some whiplash speed punk in “Secrets from the Underground” and the Dead Kennedy’s-influenced “The Future is Now,” as well as a return to their well-known sense of humor with “Cruising California (Bumping in My Truck),” in which vocalist Dexter Holland delivers some white-boy rapping with this take on California hip-hop and car culture. These moments of levity have provided the band with some of their biggest radio hits, and they’re once again welcome here. But the two biggest left turns are “All I Have Left Is You,” which at times seems like it could have been pulled from U2’s Joshua Tree, and “OC Guns,” a dressed-up reggae/reggaeton number with mariachi horns that feels like someone was listening to their Clash collection when inspiration hit. The album closes out with the “Dr. Strangelove”-referencing closing track, “Slim Pickens Does the Right Thing and Rides the Bomb to Hell,” a song about accepting a descent into chaos and enjoying the view all the way down. Considering their previous commercial success, The Offspring have set a high bar for themselves and once again manage to exceed all expectations. — M.A. Rivera