* Prices may differ from that shown
"Splinter" is the 7th studio album by American pop/punk band, the Offspring. It was released in 2003 on Columbia Records and produced by the band with Brendan O'Brien. The line-up for the album was Dexter Holland (vocals/guitar), Noodles (guitar), Greg K. (bass) and Josh Freese (drums).
This was the first Offspring album released without long-time drummer, Ron Welty. Taking his place on the drum stool was the well-respected Josh Freese. It is the follow-up album to 2000's very successful "Conspiracy of One".
The album begins with "Neocon", a one-minute intro of basic instruments and crowd noise, with Dexter's chanting of a quick verse near the end.
"The Noose" is more like the old Offspring. It sounds a lot like it belongs on the band's 1994's album, "Smash", with its fast-paced pop-rock and power chords-a-plenty. This is one of the faster songs off the album, and definitely one of the better, too.
"Long Way Home" is another classic Offspring song, which shows the drumming prowess of Josh Freese. It's another which sounds like it came off of "Smash", with a similar style to "Killboy Powerhead" and its almost Ska-esque sound. The downside to the song is, it's very samey and not original at all.
"Hit That" is the band's biggest song off the album, chart-wise. Along with "(Can't Get My) Head Around You", it was released as a single and peaked at No.11 in the UK Top 40. One thing the Offspring has done over the years is stuck to one format, and "Hit That" is no exception. If you put this song and the band's biggest hit single "Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)" together, they do sound a lot alike.
"Race Against Myself", however, changes everything I've previously said. It's in the mould of a slow pop-rock ballad, except it's not really a ballad. Noodles and Holland experiment with the guitar sound, and it seems to work. This is one of the most surprising songs on the album, and one of the better ones, also.
"(Can't Get My) Head Around You" is a two minute plus gem of a song. While some people wouldn't like it, I think it's one of the best tracks on "Splinter". It may be a short record, but how many great songs did the Ramones put out which were around the 2-3 minute mark?
"The Worst Hangover Ever" - album filler. There's absolutely no way the Offspring are serious on this record, and as with previous albums it comes in around the mid-way stage where we're usually treated to an intermission. The quicker we forget about this Ska-fused song, the better!
"Never Gonna Find Me" is a hard-hitting power punk rock song which hits the spot, and, let's face it, it can't be any worse than the previous track. It's bursting with energy and the noises coming out of the guitars really sum it up for me. There's a lot of passion involved with this song, and that's why it's one of the highlights on the album.
"Lightning Rod" makes use of Dexter's vocal range and kicks it up a notch. However, it comes across without really getting going, or at least it does to me. A lot of people will love this song, though, because of its harmony. Me, I can take it or leave it.
"Spare Me the Details" is a largely acoustic number with tongue-in-cheek lyrics about being cheated on. On first listen you'd probably think it doesn't work on this album, but you'd be wrong. It's a refreshing change in pace from what we've listened to up until this mark and very catchy. Surprising, yet refreshing.
"Da Hui" is the fastest song on the album, pure punk rock with screaming vocals, heavy guitars and a pounding drum beat. The track reflects on an Hawaiian surfer group from Oahu and has lude and rude lyrics, but it's easy my favourite song off the album.
"When You're in Prison" is nothing more than filler; something which I do wish the band would stay away from, especially at the end of the album. It's a parody of old-fashioned dancing music, and is just completely wrong.
In summary, the Offspring's heyday had gone by the time this album rolled around, but there are still some really good songs on here. It's pop, it's punk, it's everything you want from the band. However, it's also everything you don't want in certain places. The Offspring has relied too much on album filler over the years, and if you want to buy this album, I'd recommend you listen to the first eleven songs, then skip the last.
2. The Noose
3. Long Way Home
4. Hit That
5. Race Against Myself
6. (Can't Get My) Head Around You
7. The Worst Hangover Ever
8. Never Gonna Find Me
9. Lightning Rod
10. Spare Me the Details
11. Da Hui
12. When You're in Prison
My rating: 6/10
The offspring release their 7th studio album and this is called Splinter.
The front cover shows a statue with it head starting to explode, small pieces flying away from it. The offspring and the title splinter are at the top of the cover.
The rear cover has the same statue but with no head and a flower poking out the top. The songs are listed to the left. When released this was originally £12.99. and the run time is only 32.02 minutes for the 12 tracks.
Neocon - The intro of the album is a drum beat repeated, with a little bit of singing, and a little bit of guitar added into the mix. It is apparent this is only an intro. Lasting 1 minute 6 seconds, there is no link to the next song either.
The Noose - A great little guitar intro, then the songs starts off with a fast paced verse. The chorus is as you would expect from the offspring, fast and memorable. This song leave little room for a breath if you're singing along. Very punky in parts but then a lot more mature in others, a dramatic end to the song too.
Long way home - Repeated is probably the best way to describe this song. As other people have said the song is basically the chorus and has very little in the way of lyrical ingenuity.
Hit That - This song starts off with some keyboard playing to give an electro style. Dexters voice is brilliant on this song throughout the verse. When the chorus starts the band really come alive together. A very catchy song which was released as a single too. The video featured a graphic style man and his dog. This song really shows how the offspring can create new songs with a different but familiar sound. Sublime. This is an instant hit, easy to sing a long and jump around to! 10/10.
Race against myself - One of the tracks im not overly keen on. Yes I do love all offspring songs but some just aren't quite up there with the rest. This song does start with a heavy intro. The lyrics are ok, even though they are sung well, as always, but it just doesn't do anything for me. Yes the chorus makes up for some of the song, but not enough to make it a great song .This one could have been left off the album.
Head around you - Strumming and a clam almost whispering Dexter start this song, then from nowhere the verse starts and bam. Guitar, drum singing, blurt right out in your face. Its heavy its awesome. Great solos through the song too. Its not too fast but it rocks, and it rocks hard. Play this one loud!!! One of the best songs on the album without fail. This was also a single release. Top marks, great playing, and great singing just brilliant! A full of energy and life song!
The worst hangover ever - This song in my opinion seems very childish for the band to produce. Some band like greenday etc would come up with this crap. So I was disappointed when I heard it. Boohoo. No more to write or rant.
Never gonna find me - If only, the song starts quite well but I believe it fades away to nothingness. Ideally so we cannot find it! Aherm. Links quite well to the next song though!
Lightning rod - An interesting start to a song, but this is soon replaced with Dexters voice and the addition of a heavy guitar riff to back him. The familiar drum beat is also added for good measure. This song is quite heavy, and the way it sounds calmer is due to how Dexter is singing. A very fast paced song, something the offspring can do well.
Spare me the details - This song is my personal favourite, A great intro with acoustic guitars and drumming. Dexter's voice is as always, pitch perfect. The song is not heavy during the verse or chorus, and has the same riff playing throughout with the addition of picking here and there. The lyrics are simple and easy to memorise. You can sing along easily and anyone listening can and will be infected with the happy sounding song. There is one part toward the end of the song where the verse takes a bit of a heavier form, Dexter's voice is amazing to listen to in this song, as all the emphasis is on him. Top song and the best one on the album. Amazing.
Da Hui - Stupid pointless waste of time. Don't even bother listening to this song. Well I say song. It's a let down on the album and to me it's a let to the band. What were they thinking?????
When you're in prison - Quite a clever song, done in an old style, being all crackly and weird. Quite funny but should not be on the album as an actual song.
It is clear to see the offspring have moved on from the last album. But in saying this there is still the same old offspring in there with memorable riffs and amazing lyrics sung brilliantly by Dexter. So the offspring are older and more mature, the songs have followed but you can still find the same offspring underneath.
Following the release of smash on Epitaph records, the Offspring's popularity began to rapidly increase. This was followed by the impressive Ixnay on the hombre but it was the release of Americana and Conspiracy of one which really launched the Offspring into the limelight. The offspring had released a number of hit singles such as 'come out and play', 'self-esteem', 'all i want', 'pretty fly', 'kids arent alright' and 'original prankster'. The offspring clearly had a popular sound and were enjoying a great deal of mainstream success. Splinter is suprisingly much less known as an offspring album, despite it being the sequel to the best selling conspiracy of one album.
As a big offspring fan, even i was unaware of the release of splinter when it first came out. I saw it in a local music store and bought it with reasonably high expectations. From listening to splinter, it becomes clear why this album is not well known. The majority of old offspring fans will certainly be disappointed with this and the newer fans will probably identify a clear weakness and the lack of creativity in this album. But above all, it is just not catchy and there is nothing really defining about splinter. I will now proceed to explain why if youre an offspring fan, this should be the last album you should consider buying.
This album was the first album produced without long serving drummer Ron Welty. This may have had an impact on the direction of the album. Anyway, the drums on this album are generally played very slowly and simply. Most of the offsprings popular songs have been fast and the drums have played a large role. This might have had an impact on the sound quality of the album.
The album gets off to a rather bizzare start with 'neocon' and although it picks up in some of the early tracks you will then find some very musically simplistic and lyrically witless. The final track seems to have no relevance to the album and seems pointless. Dexters vocals are still decent in some songs, despite the poor quality of lyrics he sings and the guitar riffs in some songs are still respectable.
Here is the track listing:
1: Neocon. A short intro track. It is played like a taunt, with a strong drumbeat and has lyrics like 'we will never lose to you'. A strange way of opening the album and it doesnt provide a good link to the next song, 'the noose'.
2: The noose. This should just be the opening track as it doesnt go well with the intro. To be fair this is a decent song. It starts fast and has some nice guitar. Slows down towards the end of the song for dramatic effect. One of the better songs on the album
3: Long way home. This song is way too repetitive. It is almost a constant chorus of 'I'll take the long way home' with no decent versus. Nothing really to this song lyrically.
4: Hit that. The single from the album. A very original song which includes synthesiser samples. Its a very bouncy song which is possibly quite appealing to newer fans. It doesnt drag on too long and is more entertaining than many of the other songs.
5: Race against myself. I like this song. A slow but dramatic song, it builds up nicely into a strong chorus. 'I've taken all i can stand' etc. Dexters vocals are quite good in this song.
6: Cant get my head around you. Again, a decent song. Full of life and energy. Will be popular amongst most.
7: The worst hangover ever. A terrible attempt at a song. Just when you think some of these beginning songs are passable, this comes on. A light hearted song backed up with some poor music. Too trivial for me and very cheesy.
8: Never gonna find me. Starts well but then deteriorates into a poor sounding simple chorus. Does link in well to the next song lightning rod though.
9: Lightning rod. An average song. Good changes of tempo throughout the song and has a nice sound. But lacks the offspring 'bite' which they have in their older songs.
10: Spare me the details. An acoustic song which reminds me greatly of songs from Americana. Lyrically simple but sounds decent and is quite funny to listen to.
11: Da Hui. This sums up the simplicity of the whole album. Its a fast song which sounds awful to be honest. Nothing to the song.
12: When youre in prison. What is this song its really hard to subject yourself to listen to it. Possibly an attempt to be funny, or to fill up album time, but either way its a poor end to the album.
Therefore, there are a few decent tracks but they are few and far between and are let down by some truly pitiful tracks. Worth buying only if you want the complete Offspring collection. A disappointing album, considering we know the high capabilities of this great band.
As an offspring fan i do appreciate that they have produced many good albums. But i do concede that this is not one of them and is poor mainly due to its austere simplicity. This album has not been challenging to the offspring and they are capable of much more.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
2 The Noose
3 Long Way Home
4 Hit That
5 Race Against Myself
6 The Worst Hangover Ever
7 (Can't Get My) Head Around You
8 Never Gonna Find Me
9 Lighting Rod
10 Spare Me The Details
11 Da Hui
12 Prison Song