Album Reviews, Music

Review: The Offspring – Happy Hour

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)

[xrr rating=1/5]


Punk Rock Academy Fight Songs

Where do you start when it comes to the music and bands that would ultimately define you? How do you compress a lifetime’s worth into an hour? You can’t, but we tried. The punk explosion of the mid-90’s played in important part in many a suburban teenager’s life- and its long serving effects are still being felt today. While some will discredit the movement for homogenizing a previously (and notoriously) underground element, one can also see its positive influence on the world.

Speaking personally, without it, I would have never found the vast and incredibly life-altering artistic appeal of a scene buried deep beneath the surface. Whether it was hardcore, post-hardcore, indie, or punk in its earlier forms, bands like Green Day and Offspring were the gateways to enlightenment, activism, and self-reliance. For an hour, we tried to reminisce and share some of the bands that made it big during this time period, bands that went on to influence millions of listeners around the world. We also made time to remember some of those who were fueled by the mega label’s who sought to cash in on this trend, and ultimately sank some promising bands. We spun tracks by the previously mentioned, Rancid, No Use For a Name, Klover, Jawbreaker, Millencolin, and MxPx to name some.

To this day, these songs still resonate.