Release Date: 16/04/21
Label: Concord Records
For Fans Of: Sum 41, Blink-182, Green Day
Over the past few years, The Offspring have caused quite a few uproars, but not for the right reasons – from legal fights over old songs rights, internal conflicts, and line-up changes, it’s likely to have given their audience a strained relationship with the Cali punk veterans. However, these recent events have been enough for the band to finally release their tenth full-length album after nine years in the making.
Let The Bad Times Roll as a title seems to capture the confusing times that the world is dealing with alongside the overall essence of the record; however, the tracklist is not as cynical or political as the statement itself might suggest. As opposed to criticisms, the narrative is more reflective rather than opposing, and lacks the stick-it-to-the-man attitude that one would expect from the punk outfit, leaving much to be desired. Nonetheless, The Offspring return with their signature witty sound and with their very own dynamic duo in vocalist Dexter Holland and guitarist Noodles.
The title track and lead single is one of the highlights and a nearly perfect return to form. It’s catchy with punchy guitar verses that are paired with a twisted pop chorus and lyric-weighted undertones. All members seem to be completely present and invested, making the track all the more enjoyable. However, this cannot be said for almost half the other songs on the record. Tracks like ‘The Hall of The Mountain King’ and the ‘Gone Away’ piano cover felt completely unnecessary and utterly uninspired, offering no value to the listener, and seem as if they were thrown into the album to fill in spots the band couldn’t. Furthermore, ‘We Don’t Have Sex Anymore’ must be mentioned as it leaves little to the imagination and feels embarrassing to even consider. In the second half of the album, the band introduces ‘Hassan Chop’ and ‘The Opioid Diaries’ which act as a sort of remission, re-introducing some of that punk relentlessness they were initially aiming for in Let The Bad Times Roll.
With the help of producer Bob Rock (Bon Jovi, Metallica), The Offspring have dared to experiment again however, trying out some unanticipated and rather unorthodox song structures and musical arrangements leading to some cool outcomes but its not necessarily enough to revive their rebellious spirit.
On the contrary, the album also contains the band’s sound in parts such as ‘Army Of One’ and ‘Breaking These Bones’. These songs not only showcase the band’s instinctive jaunty nature with fast-paced drums, snappy guitars and huge choruses, but also lets their audience know that the more they’ve changed, the more they’ve actually stayed the same despite everything else.
All in all, Let The Bad Times Roll can be considered a decent soundtrack to one’s downfall if they were to go out swinging. This album could have easily been a great EP without all the filler. Still, there are some diamonds in there that are worth to be played loud.
Recommended Tracks: ‘Let The Bad Times Roll’, ‘Behind Your Walls’, ‘Breaking These Bones’