When The Offspring‘s Days Go By came out two years ago, I was genuinely looking forward to it and was curious to see what the band had come up with this time.
Days Go By, I soon found out, was a mixed bag to say the least.
“The Future Is Now” kicks off the album on a high note: it’s an appropriately explosive song that’s, indeed, very Offspring. “Secrets From The Underground” follows and, as familiar as it sounds, it’s still energetic and enjoyable enough to justify its existence. Then we get title song “Days Go By”, a remarkably dull effort. I can never seem to listen to it all the way through. It’s not “terrible” I guess, the chorus is fine at least, but it never takes off. I just couldn’t get interested in it at all. Thinking about it, this one would probably work better on a Green Day album with Billy Joe Armstrong’s voice more suited to this type of tune. “Turning Into You” is next and we’re back in safe hands although, once again, this feels like another band’s song.
But fear not, “Hurting As One” is very much Offspring territory. It’s a good song with the attitude we were waiting for since the start of the album. It’s got oomph, energy and feels like it belongs. It could almost be part of the album Conspiracy Of One.
Then we get…
“Cruising California (Bumpin’ In My Trunk)”
Right away, it’s pretty clear this isn’t really The Offspring: we are WAAAAY OFF-spring. It’s like The Black Eyed Peas ate up a bunch of stray hyenas, spat them out and got them to sing a capella! “Cruising California” is the very definition of guilty pleasure. Actually, it’s a pastiche of mindless California Summer pop songs and, as that, it works beautifully. Weird Al Yankovic must be pissed. It’s so convincing, in fact, that it forgets to be a good Offspring song in the process. As a song from that particular band, it’s horrendous but as a joke it’s a hilarious little bit of nonsense. You get an auto-tuned Dexter Holland, “Pretty Fly”-style “U-huhs” agogo, lines like “I wanna feel it!”, “Waving her caboose”, “My friends are drinkin’!” and probably the most lolgasmic bridge of the year.
These guys have officially out-Bloodhound Ganged The Bloodhound Gang!
Respect, my friends.
Not sure if I would have released that one as the first single though, I mean it’s not like it reflects the rest of the album in any way. That was a silly move… but kinda genius also because it’s so out there for the band that it’s basically a must own. Sadly, the following song, “All I Have Left Is You”, is just plain awful. Tired, cheesy, forgettable. It’s like a bad U2/Nickelback remix. I guarantee you’ll skip 30 seconds in.
Now “OC Guns” is another story. This one tries something completely different mixing Beirut-style trumpets with Red Hot Chili Peppers-esque reggae rhythms you’d kinda expect Anthony Kiedis to be singing along to. As an Offspring song, it’s odd and cartoonish but it works. We’re also given a re-recording of Ignition‘s “Dirty Magic”, which I would complain about if that song wasn’t so darn cool.
So it’s not a new song, big deal. At least it’s good!
It’s followed by an uninspired Foo Fighters-sounding effort (“I Wanna Secret Family”), an actually decent tune (“Dividing By Zero”) which I could definitely see myself playing Crazy Taxi to, and the not too bad “Slim Pickens Does The Right Thing And Rides The Bomb To Hell”, a fun little track. Nice title, also.
Overall? The biggest problem with this album is that most of it sounds like The Offspring parodying or imitating other (mostly lesser) bands. It’s not bad in that it does have its share of good songs and one of the sweetest guilty pleasures you’ll ever hear but it could have been a hell of a lot better.
Worth a listen but hardly a must-have.
I give it 3 Teary Punks out of 5, and I’m being generous.