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Category:    Home > Reviews > Rock Concert > Punk Rock > Post-Punk > Offspring - Splinter (CD)

The Offspring Splinter (CD)


Sound: B Music: C-



When I told some friends I was going to review the new Offspring CD, they begged me to butcher it. Hatred of The Offspring and of pop-punk in general, runs deep in this certain group of people. I couldn't promise anything to them. Anyway, what do they think a bad review will do? Form a clot in the hearts of The Offspring personnel, killing them instantly. Intriguing thought, but nay impossible. After all, the pen may be mightier than the sword, but it can't compete with a million drones singing along to "Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)".


So let's be objective and examine the good and bad of "Splinter", The Offspring's seventh album. First, the good: Splinter is 32 minutes long. That way, if you find it annoying, at least it'll be over with soon. The songs "(Can't Get My) Head Around You" and "Spare Me The Details" are pretty catchy. The first is a slow-burning rocker with a punk feel, while the second one's breezy pop clashes with its' tragicomic lyrics about a cheating girlfriend.


There's far more that's bad than good on Splinter, though. About half the album tracks feature the same tired up-tempo hardcore beat. If they'd shred a little more, it could pass for speed metal (or an outtake from Metallica's St. Anger, which is worse). For all we know, The Offspring could've recorded all these songs on the same (guest drummer) Josh Freeze rhythm, saving themselves from having to pay his session fees. Worse, when they go back to their goofball roots, the bread-and-butter that has kept The Offspring's career alive, they sink beyond LCD depths. "When You're In Prison" is advice on how to protect your back end in the clink, recorded as a 1930s pop 45, complete with crackle. "The Worst Hangover Ever" is a ska-punk (when will this genre die!!!) number about. . .well, the worst hangover ever. Both are so insipid that even a frat guy would go "That kind of humor is beneath me."


The PCM CD sound is good again for what we can expect from 16bit/44.1kHz limits can deliver today, but this CD has something in its layers that will not always allow it to play clearly on all CD, CD-ROM, DVD and DVD-ROM players. This could be copyright protection of some sort, so keep your receipt if you have any trouble.


Well, there you go. Splinter, as a statement of longevity for a band that goes back over fifteen years, fails. It fails to attract anyone beyond the band's following, barely peaking in the Billboard Top 30 whereas the previous four Offspring albums hit the Top Ten. It's not even good as a simple pop-punk album. Truth is it's not even good to butcher.



- Michael J. Farmer


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