Saturday, December 26, 2009

Review #17: The Offspring - Baghdad (EP) (1991)

Year: 1991
Genre: Punk Rock
Sub-Genres: Hardcore
Label: Nemesis Records
Tracks: 4
Length: 10 Minutes (Short)
Style: Political/Rebellious
My Rating: 6/8

It's over. It's all over. Christmas, I mean. The presents, the hype, the crass commercialism, the fact that it rained on Christmas this year. Well, now there's only New Year's Eve left to look forward to, which probably won't be that exciting to be honest. I'll elaborate on my feelings on that some other time, though.

The Offspring are a band from Orange County, Califorina. While generally synonymous with pop-punk nowadays and merely a shadow of what they once were, this album was from their days as a truly great punk band. The band formed in 1984 and released a 7" single in 1986 and then signed to Nemesis records and released a full-length LP in 1989 (which is totally gonna be reviewed sometime soon). Well, this is their second and last release on Nemesis Records, and it's just before they really started to get big in the underground scene a year or two later (and then in the mainstream in 1994!).

This record is a lot more obscure and under-rated than it should be, but maybe it's because it's an EP with only 4 songs. Nonetheless, it's out of print, so you don't need to feel guilty for downloading it, though I'm sure it'd feel great to get your hands on an actual copy. Each song is unique, but it's not completely new. One song is just a new version of a song from their first LP. Another is an instrumental track. One of the songs later got re-recorded for the LP after this. One of them is a cover song.

1. Get it Right
This song got on "Ignition" later. It's basically the same sort of hardcore-type thing that they were doing during this period, so y'know what to expect. But if you heard the "official" one and wanna hear how it sounded a year before Ignition came out, give this a try.

2. Hey Joe
A cover of Jimi Hendrix covering Billy Roberts. My favorite song on the album. It packs a punch in places where the two older versions don't. Nice solo at the beginning. It's got a hard beat and it just rocks.

3. Baghdad
The namesake of the record. However, it's the least interesting track in that it's just a slightly altered version of "Tehran" from their debut LP. Nonetheless, the lyrics are changed (by one word) to relate to the Gulf War, and this song is sadly still relevant today, thanks to two bullshit presidents and the three before 'em that helped plant the seeds.

4. The Blurb
This is an instrumental track. Sort of. Okay, maybe it's not. There are vocals, but it's just Dexter wailing to a beat and other background noises/vox. One of the weirdest (in a good way) songs the band has ever done.

Well, it's a good listen. The lyrics to "Baghdad" are still relevant to today's politics regarding the lame-assed wars in the Middle East that were SUPPOSED to be ending this year. The only song that really can't be found anywhere else on this record is "The Blurb", but a lot of people probably wouldn't like it anyway. Still, it's more good classic-style Offspring music, and it (appropriately) sounds somewhere between the first record and "Ignition".

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