While I have been a fan of Offspring in my youth, I feel like I’ve grown out of the youthful message and lyrics of their original work. So, I was pleasantly surprised by their new album, Days Go By. From the first tracks you hear a familiar tone, yet there is a new complexity in their composition; a new adult tone in the lyrics that is almost unheard of coming from the voice of Dexter Holland.
The album grips you with “The Future is Now”, a classic-style speed track, you are thrown into a ‘whoa’ track with “Secrets From The Underground”, and finishes up the intro with the title track “Days Go By”. This is where the newer composition begins to truly become prevalent. While it is by far not a lovey, gooey slow song, “Days Go By” is a slower track that really allows the instruments to take a front.
By “Turning Into You” and “Hurting As One” you hear a general theme in this album of hurt love. But this is Offspring. They cannot keep this serious theme up forever, throwing in “Cruising California” and “Oc Guns” to keep listeners out of the funk of satirical depression. Even better, they throw in my favorite lyrical track between those two. “All I Have Left Is You” is a true love story of hope and defiance against outside forces.
The album closes up strong, cementing the overall theme. “I Wanna Secret Family (With You)” is a profession of love (with a heap of attitude). “Dividing By Zero” is a big middle-finger to the world. With every song the story progresses from pain to rebuilding, fixing your life, and denying the wounds life has given you. This is a story Offspring told well. It seems as if their entire twenty-eight years are represented in this album, with the knowledge and understanding that these years can only bestow.
You feel Offspring’s energy coming across stronger than ever– their vocals haven’t changed, their instruments have only become more complex, and they found a story to tell without losing the distinct differences in their songs. Honestly, what’s not to love?