The Offspring – Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace

  • Bobby Gorman posted
  • Reviews

The Offspring

Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace - Columbia Records

In 2003, The Offspring released their seventh studio album, Splinter. The lead single they chose to promote the album with was Hit That and frankly, the single was a major flop. In fact, it was so bad I had no motivation to even listen to the album and to this day I don’t own the record despite having most of their previous efforts. It took the band five years to recover from that flop but now they’re back with their eighth studio album – Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace; and unlike its predecessor, they picked a good single to promote the album this time as Hammerhead actually helped build people’s anticipation for the album instead of making them turn away from it.

While not every song on Rise and Fall is filled with a driving beat the way that Hammerhead is, The Offspring have returned back to some of their old roots on their record while still progressing as a band too. You can hear that progression right from the opening riff of Half-Truism. It starts off with a slow guitar melody that builds up before guest drummer Josh Freese kicks in and the band jumps back into theirSmash era anthemic quality. The chorus hits in and Dexter Holland holds on to key words for as long as possible just like classic Offspring before they pick up the pace again for the verse. Trust In You plays through with that same excitement while Nothingtown could have fit into the Americana track listing without any problem with its thick bass line and upbeat melody.

But The Offspring don’t settle for just rehashing the same song over and over again and their progression on Rise and Fall make for both the highlights and the low lights of the album. You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid is slightly off putting at the start with a massive amount of dancy high-hats but still remains so incredibly endearing that you can’t help but play the song on repeat. If you had said the band would release a track like this a decade ago you would have laughed but now it seems appropriate. Contrary to that, it is when the band opts to slow it down a bit that they become truly hit and miss. Sometimes it works (seeKristy Are You Doing Okay?) but other times sounds like a Green Day American Idiot rip-off (Fix You). Then there’s Rise and Fall which falls somewhere in between of Green Day‘s American Idiotand Dillinger Four‘s Doublewhiskeycokenoice.

Plus, gone are the days of comical lyrics that filled up Americana, instead Holland and his band mates have gone for a much angrier and solemn tone. The songs have a political overtone, attacking the war, news, celebrity, chaos and hopelessness. Some songs teeter on the side of love ballads but most remain more aggressive and serious than before.

Having already released seven albums in the past, The Offspring know what they’re doing. They’re not staying stagnant nor are they changing drastically; instead they’ve given an album that, for the most part, will please their fans and keep them coming back for more.