[Review] The Offspring – ‘Let The Bad Times Roll’

Ahhh, it’s time to relax. And you know what that means…..

Sorry, wrong album. But damn if the latest offering from The Offspring doesn’t grab you from the get-go.

Let’s take a moment here to truly appreciate this band. Countless hits, generational anthems (thank you very much ‘Bad Habit’) and so many toe-tapping jams for you to poke a stick at, they have definitely stood the test of time and cemented themselves into legendary status.

After a long wait (9 damn years for us die-hard fans), the guys are back and jumping straight back into that definitive sound that we all know. Dexter’s voice is still as crisp and skilful as it was when their debut album dropped in 1989 (shit I feel old). And Noodles, well, he’s definitely still able to belt out catchy as fuck riffage till the end of time. If you’re not familiar with this man’s skill behind the axe, then it’s time for you to check out ‘In The Hall Of The Mountain King’. Classically trained and boasting more skill than some of the greatest metal guitar gods, he is forever humble in his ability. This is what sets him apart from the rest. But I digress, I could go on about them all day, but I have a job to do.

‘This Is Not Utopia’ is the perfect way to kick off the album, hard n fast, while keeping that perfect OC punk flow. As soon as I played this track, I was excited for what else my ears were about to be privileged to hear. The first single off the album and title track ‘Let The Bad Times Roll’, is the perfect catchy tune to help spruik this album. Now, one of the best tracks in my opinion is ‘Army Of One’, it feels very Ramones-esque while still keeping the classic Offspring sound. (Took me right back to the ‘Ignition’ days).

‘Coming For You’ is a track that I can see crowds in the future singing along to wholeheartedly. It just gives off that vibe, and I’m stoked to see a return to the live music scene so I can witness this first hand. I can’t let a review of this album go without paying attention to ‘The Opioid Diaries’, the height of my love of this band was around the time of Ixnay’s release and this is the perfect song to get new fans on board for the wild ride of their back catalogue. With the band choosing to follow such a cracker of a song with ‘Hassan Chop’, it is like they don’t want to give you a breather (not complaining at all). If they play these songs back to back at a live show, my old arse is toast.

Winding down the album is one of the songs that gets a spot on their setlist these days, a slowed-down version of their hit ‘Gone Away’ (‘Gone Away Requiem’). The original struck at the hearts of the fan base when it was released in 1997 and has continued to mean so much to so many people over the years. In its simplest form, upon a piano with Dexter’s voice soft and sweet, this will once again become a song that will help people process deep feelings of loss or their own mortality. That is no easy feat, but they’ve done it before and I’m sure they’ll do it again. Finishing the album with ‘Lullaby’, a fitting outro for such a brilliant album, it’s clear that The Offspring still have massive plans ahead.

So, grab a glass of wine, sit in your favourite E-Z Chair and of course, get ‘Let The Bad Times Roll’ playing on your favourite device. Well, there I go again getting all nostalgic. Let this music soothe the savage beast within.

Let The Bad Times Roll’ is released on April 16 through Concord Records