Rewind to April last year – at my friend James’ behest, I listened to Offspring’s latest album, Let The Bad Times Roll, writing “Objectively, this is not a good album. But by Offspring standards, this might be their best since Ixnay On The Hombre.” And I stand by that statement.
But listening back to Ixnay, I’m starting to feel like this might be where it all started to go wrong. Take fifth track “Cool To Hate” – on it, Dexter Holland sings “I hate teachers / I hate school / I hate the cheerleaders” … except he was legitimately 31 years old when he wrote and recorded this.
Ixnay starts to show a real disconnect between the art and the artists; Holland is no longer singing about his own experiences, but caricatures of teenage angst and attempts at comedy. On “Mota”, he sings “I take a hit but it smells like a clove / I got a baggie of oregano”. On “Way Down The Line” he sings “What comes around well it goes around / Nothing changes cause it’s all the same”. On “Don’t Pick It Up” he sings “I saw a little kid / As he walked around / He picked a candy bar up / Off the ground / He chowed about a half / Then his face turned blue / Turned out that candy bar was doggy-doo”.
And its kind of sad because about half of Ixnay’s tracks are really great, throwbacks to Offspring’s earlier work – including arguably the band’s best song, “Gone Away” (though “All I Want” and “I Choose” are highlights too). I have fond memories of this album. But I can’t say it holds up now.
CLTM (Chris Listens To Music) is my attempt to listen to a new album every day; you can follow my efforts on Instagram here (and send recommendations), and if you like what I’m doing, support my efforts by shouting me a cuppa at Buy Me A Coffee.