Offspring - Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace

  by Daniel Cressey

published: 9 / 8 / 2008

Offspring - Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace

Label: Columbia
Format: CD
Disappointing, lacking-in-spark latest album from bestselling punk pop rockers, the Offspring


The latest punk-pop album from the Offspring was produced by Bob Rock. It would have been much more appropriate if it had been George A. Romero. Listening to this is reminiscent of nothing so much as watching the staggering body of someone you once liked, even loved, lumbering forwards with designs on your brain. Standing there you look for something, anything, the slightest hint of what once made them special. And then you have to take off their head. It’s the only way. Obviously this hurts me more than it hurts them. 'Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace' is not bad. The songs here are exactly what you would expect from The Offspring. What is missing is any kind of spark, the kind of spark that set things alight with 'SMASH' in 1994 and gave them the biggest ever album sales on an independent label record. Instead we get a series of tracks that repeat the same shouty-harmonising and riffs that have characterised all their releases since then. The Offspring have never done their best work when they stray from their punk roots (cf any of their collaborations with rappers). So here they’ve done what they do well and followed the same paths that repetition has surely imprinted on them by now. There doesn’t seem to be a single track here that couldn’t have come from any of their previous albums. It’s slightly slicker, maybe slightly more of a broad church at points, but this seems the progress made from residual momentum rather than any real sense of purpose. Very occasionally, when you are not focusing properly on the music and catch a snatch of something before tuning in, there is a hint of what they were before, that swaggering force to be reckoned with. But then it’s gone. It’s too late for The Offspring. You go on. I think I'll just stay here a while…

Track Listing:-

1 Half-Truism
2 Trust In You
3 You're Gonna Go Far, Kid
4 Hammerhead
5 A Lot Like Me
6 Takes Me Nowhere
7 Kristy, Are You Doing Okay?
8 Nothingtown
9 Stuff Is Messed Up
10 Fix You
11 Let's Hear It For Rock Bottom
12 Rise And Fall

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The Offspring 'Smash' (2008)
Offspring - The Offspring 'Smash'
In our 'Soundtrack of Our Lives' column, in which our writers write about the personal impact on music on their lives, Dan Cressey writes, with Britpop reaching its height in Camden, just a short walk across North London, about being a teenager in the mid 90's and listening instead to the Offspring

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