Whatever Happened to P.J.
Songs" with its wise-guy line pleading for an end to them is what The Offspring
could have been had they avoided a turn to novelty. "Halcyon Days (Where
Were You Then?)" is Radiohead's "Creep" done grunge. "Everyone
Alive," is a smooth version of Nirvana, a bad thing if it weren't so damn
catchy. And how can you not like a song called "Heavy Metal Bakesale"?
bands have been doing this for 30 years, and there are a million of them out there.
What differentiates this from the herd is the quality of songwriting, putting
the right sound in the right place at the right time, building on it with the
right drum lick, adding the right howling vocal -- a series of perfect, suburban,
white-trash rock moments, finely honed for the Ef Em, that when played in your
brother's Nova can't help but induce head wagging.
plodding, 10-minute-plus stomper "Buffalo Trace" is stuck in the middle,
done in the Zeppelin/Sabbath tradition that's closer to Not Fragile-era
BTO. On the flip-side is the opener, "Where Are They Now?" which is
a minute and 23 seconds of military pounding, wicked riffs and the line, "You're
never gonna get it" repeated like a throbbing headache. Call it a guilty
pleasure, but this is the one to put on when you just want to rock.
Posted Sept. 23,
2004. Copyright © 2004 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.
series of perfect, suburban, white-trash rock moments, finely honed for the Ef
Em, that when played in your brother's Nova can't help but induce head wagging."|