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Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace

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Editors’ Notes

The Offspring represent an interesting paradox for “punk rock.” The band uses the necessary four letter words to get their point across. They play loud and aggressively, short on guitar solos and mostly quick with the tempos. Their singer complains about everything and they certainly have the look of angry, indifferent youth. Yet, the band has been soldiering on for years and they’ve learned more than a few professional tricks along the way — all of which they use to their advantage on this 2008 release, produced by hard rock veteran producer Bob Rock. “You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid” has a perfect chorus and singer Dexter Holland can harmonize and smooth over the rough edges like the seasoned musical veteran he truly is. In their hands, “punk rock” means more than purebred aggression. Purists may bristle at the uber-catchiness of “Hammerhead,” the piano-based power-ballad tendencies of “A Lot Like Me” and “Fix You,” and the conscious anthemic overdrive of “Kristy, Are You Doing Okay?” but ever since their inception the Offspring have been a pop band in punk rock clothing.

Customer Reviews

Good but disappointing

Let me start by saying that the Offspring were the band that first got me into punk music, and since I first started listening to them (around Ixnay), they've changed quite a bit, as have my tastes. Still, I was expecting great things from this album. I mean, they've had five years to work on it, right? And it really didn't bring great things. I saw a live performance of You're Gonna Go Far, Kid on YouTube, and I thought it was the best song they'd ever made. But they absolutely killed it in the studio. Too much special effects, not enough bass (Greg K is what makes the Offspring good). Song by song: 1) Half-Truism: I don't care for this song too much. It's basically your typical Offspring song, only a little poppier. It's not bad, just nothing special. 7/10 2) Trust In You: Better than Half-Truism, but this is way too similar to Never Gonna Find Me. I really liked that song, though, so I'll give this a 7/10 3) You're Gonna Go Far, Kid: I absolutely loved the YouTube version I saw. This isn't that good, a little too techno-y, but it's still very good. 9/10 4) Hammerhead: As a first single, this left a little to be desired, but it's still really catchy and it's got the trademark great bass. 9/10 5) A Lot Like Me: Well, it's not terrible. Still don't like the slower, new-Linkin Park-style song, but it picks up around the second verse. 7/10 6) Takes Me Nowhere: The best on the album. I love this song. 10/10 7) Kristy, Are You Doing Okay?: This tries to be Gone Away v. 2.0, but they forgot one thing: punk rock songs can be serious, but they can't be uplifting. If they have a message, it has to be "I hate the world". This isn't that. It's not an awful song, and I can live with it as long as they don't put it out as a single. Anyway, it sounds like the label forced them to make it. 5/10 8) Nothingtown: Better than filler, it's Offspring Filler! Bland, but okay. 7/10 9) Stuff Is Messed Up: I'm guessing it was the label's fault that they couldn't just go ahead and name this after the line in the chorus. Fun song, classic Offspring but still sounds fresh. 9/10 10) Fix You: I really, really don't like this song. At least now we know Dexter can sing. 5/10 11) Let's Hear It for Rock Bottom: I'm trying to remember what other song this is. Good ska-punk song. Less Than Jake-ish. 8/10 12) Rise and Fall: Not bad, not bad at all. Gloating "you-screwed-up" song, just what they're supposed to be doing. Sounds a little like American Idiot, but American Idiot sounds like a lot of Offspring songs. 8/10

An Excellent Album!

Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace is an amazing album. While Offspring has always dealt with mature themes, this album seems to be darker thematically than the rest of their works. There are several classic sounding Offspring tracks (Trust In You, Hammerhead, Stuff Is Messed Up), as well as ballads and quieter songs (A Lot Like Me, Kristy). I was pleasantly surprised by some of the different music styles that are featured on the album, specifically the singing style on A Lot Like Me. I can't wait for the next Offspring album. Hopefully it will be just as good as this one and won't take four years to come out!

A run through of all their albums

So we will start from the top! The Offspring(self-title debut): It was raw and real Ignition: Raw, real, and better produced Smash: Very solid, no doubt the favorite of most fans Ixnay on the Hombre: My personal favorite and extremely underrated Americana: Its good, but no offense, overrated Conspiracy of One: A couple of really good songs, but IMO their weakest album Splinter: I believe Splinter was better then most people thought Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace: Their best? Maybe....

Biography

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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Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace, The Offspring
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