"Today's as good a day as any / To tell you to go get fucked," Keith Morris screams as the intro to "Exorcised." It seems like a pretty apt summary of the record, and a quintessential line from the former frontman of Black Flag and the Circle Jerks.
OFF! have just started streaming their hotly anticipated third album, Wasted Years, and it's a breakneck old-school punk rock opus. Clocking in at under half an hour, the album is a feverish blast of vehement hardcore. Stream it above via Spotify.
Kicking off with the previously heard "Void You You Out," the record is 17 tracks of pissed off punk, with Keith Morris' caustic vocals leading the way in front of chunky, filthy guitar riffs and furious drums. "Red White and Black" keeps up the exhaustive pace with squealing feedback before "Legion of Evil" kicks in. The breakdown-heavy "No Easy Escape" slows things down -- slightly -- chugging heavily into "Over Our Heads." Blink and you can miss a whole song.
The only track on the whole record that breaks the two-minute mark is the album's second single, "Hypnotized," which clocks in at an almost-eternal 2:14. Following that, the hits keep coming in succession, "It Didn't Matter To Me" into "Exorcised" into "Death Trip on the Party Train," like the blows thrown in a circle pit.
The tone is consistent throughout, with little difference in sound between songs. "All I Can Grab" blends into "Time's Not On Your Side," but the consistency captures a live essence not present on more production-heavy records. It makes sense, then, that the band recorded the whole record live-to-tape in their own practice space, rather than piece it together at a studio.
The vitriolic "Meet Your God" leads into the final few songs, but the pace still won't let up, blasting through "Mr. Useless" and "You Must Be Damned" before winding up at the album's closing title track. In-your-face riffs, distortion, feedback, and indignation bring Wasted Years to a close. Listen above.
On the whole, OFF! continue to show that pure, old school punk rock is nothing to be trifled with. Is it formulaic? Yes. Is it unadorned? Yes. Do they give a shit? No, they don't. And neither should you.