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Splinter - Offspring
Member Name: Jarisleif
Splinter - Offspring
Advantages: Power pop-punk
Disadvantages: Awful use of filler space
"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
Summary: It's ok, but it's not brilliant.