Nov 10, 2022
By Matthew Berlyant
When a new OFF! album was announced earlier this year, it came as a bit of a surprise. Sure, there was a Metallica cover released last year, but it has been a full eight years since their last full-length (2014’s impeccably titled Wasted Years). This fact, along with the currently ongoing reunion of singer Keith Morris’ other band (Circle Jerks) could easily have made fans think that they had heard the last of this early 2010s supergroup featuring Morris, former Burning Brides guitarist Dimitri Coats, Redd Kross bassist Steven McDonald, and drummer extraordinaire Mario Rubalcaba (aka Ruby Mars). Thankfully, though, that is most definitely not the case, as Morris and Coats have reconvened the band, this time with new rhythm section Autry Fulbright II (of …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead) and Justin Brown (Thundercat), to revive the band and give them an energy unheard and unmatched since the early days of The First Four EPs and their self-titled debut LP, from 2011 and 2012, respectively.
This time around, however, song lengths are, (ever so slightly) lengthened, with a few like “War Above Los Angeles” and “Ignored” even approaching the three-minute mark (gasp!). There is some slight psychedelic experimentation going on throughout the course of the album, which the band describes (with some justification, most notably on “F,” which features a skronky free jazz sax solo courtesy of Clawhammer’s Jon Wahl) as “a heavy punk industrial free jazz soundtrack recording.” In fact, one could argue as a long-time fan and observer that the lineup change and break may have even revitalized the group. (www.offofficial.com)
Author rating: 8/10
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