Friday, May 25, 2012

Album Review: OFF!

Punk rock super-group OFF!’s self-titled full-length (proper) debut is a brutal blast of pure hardcore punk.  When the term hardcore gets used, this is the type of music that I think of, not that heavy metal wannabe mess that is called hardcore these days.  This record is short, blistering, and pissed.  You’d think that after 30+ years Keith Morris would have chilled out a bit…yeah, not so much.  He sounds every bit as angry here in 2012 as he did on the first Black Flag and Circle Jerks records back in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s.  Sonically OFF! sounds closer to Black Flag than the Circle Jerks, but I think that is mostly due to the production on the guitar.  The guitar on this record has that almost muddied/muffled sound to it that was so common on the early Black Flag records (the guitar production on the Circle Jerks records always sounded crisper to me).  In a lot of ways, this record feels like a time capsule, something from a long gone era, dug up to remind us of the past.  Luckily though, this is not a simple nostalgia record or band.  This music is vibrant and raw and fueled by issues of the 21st century and not a rehash of the past.  This record is an absolute must for fans of early hardcore punk.

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