There are more songs on “Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace” that have the draw necessary for a radio single but unfortunately a lot of the songs seem a tad hollow. Even if you are a fan of their previous works, this fails to be worthy of the name The Offspring established over a decade ago.
The free downloadable single Hammerhead featured on the album is nestled between 12 over-produced tracks that leave the listener wondering what happened. The energy that The Offspring is known for is present, though it comes off as somewhat insincere and slightly gaunt. It seems this recording may have been a forced endeavor. Making songs at a high tempo is not the only element that makes rock music inspiring.
The Offspring offered punk music with a metal edge to the masses in 1994. Competing with Green Day for the spotlight, The Offspring helped keep the rock vibe alive in the mid 1990s and their third album, Smash, sold over four million copies on the independent label Epitaph—causing a surprise in the underground rock scene.
The two most notable singles from Smash were Come Out and Play and Self-Esteem, which incorporated the loud choruses and quiet verses that Nirvana made very popular. The stronger punk and metal influences in these singles gave The Offspring an original sound and a well-earned spot in the list of bands that helped mold the rock sounds of the mid to late 90s.
Unfortunately, Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace seems to fall into an all-too-familiar category of music that has been recently established in the modern music industry. The first track, Half-Truism, has a noticeably lifted chorus from My Chemical Romance’s Helena. The seventh track, You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid, starts out with a disco dance beat and crescendos into a less than poetic chorus. Kristy, Are You Doing Okay? is a generic emo-style acoustic ballad that has no place on a punk album and lacks substance.
The Offspring’s first three albums were released on the independent label Epitaph before the switch to Capitol records in 1996. Epitaph is known for more original and organic representations of their artists than most major labels. Though being on an independent label, their first three albums are much more suitable for their claimed “punk” genre.
There are more songs on Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace that have the draw necessary for a radio single but unfortunately a lot of the songs seem a tad hollow. Even if you are a fan of their previous works, this fails to be worthy of the name The Offspring established over a decade ago.