The other day, I listened to Ixnay straight through, for the first time in years.
Let's travel back in time...A historic record breaking album in Smash - punk is mainstream, and The Offspring are a major part of the reason why. Trying to do the right thing, they look to renew a contract with Epitaph, but can't. A major tear in the relationship with Brett Gurewitz, bad blood, the whole bit.
The Offspring go major and sign with Columbia. At the time, it's seen as selling out to the Punk community. They're pissed, Mr. Brett's pissed, but most importantly, The Offspring are pissed. Coming off a highly successful album, the boys release the ultimate "fuck you" to their old label's Commander in Chief.
We start off with "Disclaimer" - a message by Jello Biafra (can you get a bigger punk icon on your side) that is the perfect mix innuendo and sarcasm (heh). Some of the songs themes point to being true to oneself (Meaning of Life, All I Want), while others are a direct shot to Gurewitz (Leave it Behind, Change the World).
First single released? Only the fastest, most punk rock song on the album. Unbelieveable.
"Gone Away" is so heartfelt, with a cool grunge sound...A song that has truly lasted the test of time.
Of course we have "Mota", which is a great combo of comic relief and energy, using the trademark Jason "Blackball" McLean line and Middle-Eastern guitars.
2 different Offspring sounds we are introduced to lay down great grooves. "Me and My Old lady" has a Jane's Addiction tinge to it, outstanding drumming by Ron, and great harmonies. And then there is "I Choose"...What the fuck is this song even about? The lyrics are brilliant, yet almost incomprehensible. The locked down groove is the best they've ever done...Just fucking awesome.
The lowlight to the album is the back-to-back of "Don't Pick It Up" and "Way Down The Line". While the songs are ok, they don't live up to the rest of the album...
"Change The World" uses ideas from the past, and pumps it into a fitting conclusion to the album, save for the great Bud Melman quip at the end...
Just a fantastic album. Just wanted to share why this band will always be special in my heart.