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OFF! - OFF!

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The members of OFF! could be kicking back and enjoying retirement, but blasting out breakneck hardcore and spewing forth vitriolic worldviews sounds more appealing to them. 56-year-old frontman Keith Morris doesn’t so much sing verses and hooks as bellow punchline after punchline, and the band’s eponymous record – covering 16 tracks in under that many minutes – is such an intense bit of bombast that it takes a few listens to sink in.

Like the record’s predecessor, the excellent compilation record First Four EPs, the track titles more often than not account for a large portion of the lyrical content (‘Borrow and Bomb’, for example), but this approach is conducive to shouting maniacally amid a cesspool of sweat and beer in a basement dive bar. The band’s template of poppy melodies with layers of distortion and dissonance is such that the lyrics barely matter anyway. Ironic indeed that one of the year’s finest soundtracks of youthful abandon was brought to us by guys old enough to be your dad.

7/10 stars

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