Californian quartet The Offspring were uniquely positioned to take advantage of the grunge boom of the early to mid ’90s. Though usually labeled as a punk band, over the course of their self-titled 1989 debut and 1993’s Ignition, Dexter Holland (vocals), Noodles (guitar), Greg Wiesel (bass) and Ron Welty (who replaced founding member James Lilja on drums) displayed a metal crunch and precision that set them aside from their peers.
Their slower tempos and stop/start dynamics were used to greatest effect on their third album, 1994’s Smash, suggesting a significant overlap with slicker metal outfits and some of grunge’s harder edged bands. In particular, the singles Come Out And Play and Self Esteem grabbed the attention of those whose heads had been turned by Nirvana’s Nevermind. Inevitably, a bidding war ensued and the band left Epitaph Records for the big leagues, much to the chagrin of many of their punk peers.
The Offspring’s first album on Columbia was Ixnay On The Hombre. While reviews were mixed, it charted higher in the UK than its predecessor and All I Want became the band’s highest charting single to date at No.31.
The band’s oft-ignored sense of humour came to the fore on their fifth album, the massively successful Americana. Pretty Fly (For A White Guy) saw them skewering fickle cultural appropriation by suburban teenagers to a Latin-flavoured alternative rock sound. It proved a huge hit, reaching No.1 in ten countries, including the UK. Second single Why Don’t You Get A Job? went close, peaking at No.2.
The Offspring continued to straddle punk, alternative rock, grunge and metal on their sixth album, Conspiracy Of One, which found them in legal strife with their own label when the band attempted to release it for free online. Welty left the band shortly after and was replaced for the sessions for their seventh album, Splinter, by Josh Freese (Vandals, Devo).
Rocket From The Crypt’s Atom Willard joined the band on drums but was replaced by Saves The Day’s Pete Parada prior to the sessions for their next album. In 2008, the band released Rise And Fall, Rage And Grace, followed by Days Go By in 2012. Greg Kriesel left the band in 2018, eventually replaced on bass by their touring guitarist Todd Morse.
In 2020, word started circulating that The Offspring were working on a new album. The band released two covers that year, of Joe Exotic’s Here Kitty Kitty and Darlene Love’s Christmas (Please Come Home).
In early 2021, Dexter Holland and Noodles confirmed that a new album, entitled Let The Bad Times Roll, was coming on 16 April. It was preceded by a single of the same name. That April, the band announced a string of UK stadium shows for November 2021 with The Hives as support.
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