The Offspring

Ixnay on the Hombre

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The Offspring may have been a product of the Southern California hardcore scene, but their instincts have always been more metal than punk. Their guitars plod along with a heavy backbeat, and even their speedier numbers are weighed down by clumsy riffs, which is evident on Ixnay on the Hombre, the follow-up to the group's unexpected hit Smash. Despite Jello Biafra's opening assertion of the Offspring's punk credentials, Ixnay on the Hombre sounds like a competent hard rock band trying to hitch themselves to the post-grunge bandwagon. The riffs don't have hooks, and Dexter Holland yelps his vocals tunelessly. Of course, much hardcore followed this formula, but it got by on its self-righteousness and visceral forward force. Since the Offspring slow down the tempo of hardcore, it doesn't have either the undiluted rage of hardcore or the four-on-the-floor groove of hard rock. Also, they haven't come up with a ridiculous hook on the level of "Come Out and Play" or "Self Esteem," which leaves Ixnay on the Hombre as a tedious, turgid mess of anemic punk metal.

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