OFF! – The Album

off!_albumsleeveVICE RECORDS

Unless you’ve had your head firmly stuck in the sand, or gone feral in a cave in Bora Bora, OFF! cannot have failed to register on your radar. I believe the story goes that a recording session by the Circle Jerks went to the wall and singer Keith Morris subsequently hooked up with producer Dimitri Coats or something like that, but whatever, the partnership drafted in Steven McDonald from Red Kross, powerhouse skin beater Mario Rubalcaba (lotsa bands) and OFF! was born.

We should be truly grateful, because they’ve gotten Keith back hollering like the Hermosa banshee of oh-so-many years ago, recalling the guy who rallied against the fenced-in, white picket dystopia of Southern California in, first Black Flag, and then the aforementioned CJ’s. Lesser men mighta taken the easy way out and just been happy to continually rewind past glories, but what’s got so many folk stoked on OFF! It’s all new music, new songs. Sure, it’s a sound that trawls back to the source, but delivers it in 2012 sounding fresh, urgent and totally alive.

A buncha roasting 7”s acted as a precursor to OFF!’s capabilities and now this 16 song album has landed (and you better believe it) it’s a totally blasting 17 minutes of raging Hardcore powered by absolutely shredding music. Keith’s all pissed and sarcastic, getting shit off his chest, spitting out 60 second anecdotes about times spent hanging on a wire in distant days (“inside the Masque, with the Alley Cats”) He’s also throwing in candid observations about his fellow citizens in the land of the free… “Teach them to shoot before they can read, sprinkling glass on their Happy Meals”…. cutting!

Seriously, this is an essential album, easily destined to make up a chunk of many folks summer soundtracks and only the most po-faced and blinkered members of the hiperatti will fail to recognise its awesomeness. Oh, and did you know that they shred live too? Thanksfully they will be back in the UK in June. You really need to see them. Get in there and get vaporized!

Pete Craven