Ah the Japanese, the purveyors of weird and the collectors of strange. No doubt the long history of the “Japanese Import” will turn up some exclusively weird records meant for those most die-hard fans and completists only. So comes this Offspring collection titled Happy Hour, a Japanese-only import of live tracks, covers, b-sides, and some truly terrible, terribly remixes. It’s befuddling to say the least as to who would actually slap money down to purchase this, but as with all things weird in this world, I’m sure there’s an audience somewhere.
It isn’t all bad however- the live tracks do showcase the Offspring’s live pedigree. Recorded well and sounding crisp, they’re a good indicator of what they sound like on stage. “All I Want” and “Gone Away” are particularly great here- but the live version of “Pretty Fly” serves as nothing more than a reminder of how crappy this song really is. Their cover of “Hey Joe” (which is from their Baghdad EP, in itself, a true rarity and a great find) by Billy Roberts and “I Got a Right” by Iggy Pop are easily the gems of this collection, but are probably worth the ticket on releases elsewhere.
Happy Hour is tailended by remixes of some of their more popular tracks, “Want You Bad”, “Why Don’t You Get a Job” and “Pretty Fly” which are beyond awful. The less said about these, the better.
It’s all a little unnecessary and those who do pick it up are pretty desperate. But it’s part of the game in the end, one the Offspring and their labels have played very well since 1994. (Sony Japan)