SPLINTER

JANE STEVENSON

, Last Updated: 4:09 PM ET


SPLINTER
The Offspring
(Columbia-Sony)

This veteran So-Cal punk outfit follow up their last recording, 2001's Conspiracy Of One, with a new disc, in stores Tuesday, that takes a few major sonic detours.

Sadly, most of them don't really work.

After a promising start with the short but rallying war cry Neocon, the band gets bogged down in No Doubt-like, electronic dance territory on Hit That and mistakenly immerse themselves in reggae-ska on the truly juvenile The Worst Hangover Ever.

The remaining tracks are rather predictable-sounding Offspring high-energy tunes like The Noose -- despite backing vocals from Pennywise's Jim Lindberg and TSOL's Jack Grisham -- Long Way Home, (Can't Get My) Head Around You, Never Gonna Find Me, Lightning Rod and Da Hui.

Three notable exceptions are the harder-rocking and more introspective Race Against Myself; the melodic, acoustic pop number Spare Me The Details; and the hilarious homage to '30s crooners like Al Jolson, When You're In Prison.

Brendan O'Brien is back again behind the boards after producing Conspiracy Of Silence, but there's a new drummer -- The Vandals' Josh Freese -- who sat in after the departure of Ron Welty, who had been with the band since 1986.

Maybe he got out in just the nick of time?

Track Listing
1. Neocon
2. The Noose
3. Long Way Home
4. Hit That
5. Race Against Myself
6. (Can't Get My) Head Around You
7. The Worst Hangover Ever
8. Never Gonna Find Me
9. Lightning Rod
10. Spare Me the Details
11. Da Hui
12. When You're in Prison
 


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