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Album Review

It's more mixing of stylized punk revival and hybridism with left-field musical experimentation and in-the-now pop culture lyrical references on Splinter, the Offspring's seventh full-length. "Never Gonna Find Me," "Long Way Home," and "Lightning Rod" each bristle with overdriven guitars and Dexter Holland's high-pitched bleating; they're somewhat workmanlike, but still roil with that precision fury particular to a veteran band. At the same time, Holland, guitarist Noodles, and bassist Greg Kriesel can't resist returning to the towel-slapping trash humor and mean-spirited loathing that typified past tracks like "Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)" and "Self Esteem." Lead single "Hit That" talks up baby daddies over a bopping bassline and keyboard right out of a Bloodhound Gang track, while "Spare Me the Details" subverts its lighthearted acoustic strum with foul-mouthed (on the clean version, anyway) attacks on a philandering girlfriend ("I'm not the one who acted like a ho"). "Da Hui" overdrives surf rock while paying homage to hardcore Hawaiian board riders, and "When You're in Prison" ends Splinter with sage advice about protecting your dignity in the clink. Longtime fans will be more than happy with Splinter, which crams every last piece of the Offspring puzzle — slickly produced rock racket, hints of anti-establishment rabble-rousing, and reams of relationship and strip mall culture gaggery — into its brief half-hour run time.


Formed: 1985 in Garden Grove, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The Offspring's metal-inflected punk became a popular sensation in 1994, selling over four million albums on an independent record label. While the group's credentials and approach follow the indie rock tradition of the '80s, sonically the Offspring sound more like an edgy, hard-driving heavy metal band, with their precise, pulsing power chords and Dexter Holland's flat vocals. Featuring Holland, guitarist Kevin "Noodles" Wasserman, bassist Greg Kriesel, and drummer Ron Welty, the Offspring released...
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Splinter, The Offspring
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