Time flies when you're writing an album. You settle on a radical idea, flog it to death on said record and by the time it's released, everyone from [I]Newsnight[/I] to the local pub have already debat

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Open Transport

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Open Transport

TIME FLIES WHEN YOU’RE WRITING AN ALBUM. You settle on a radical idea, flog it to death on said record and by the time it’s released, everyone from [I]Newsnight[/I] to the local pub have already debated the issue and moved on.

Desperate for a new slant on their thrashing bread-and-butter rock, one-time punk superstars The Offspring have fallen headfirst into this trap. So, at least six months after everyone else, ‘Americana’ wryly observes the phenomenon that is chat-show culture and concludes that the US has gone bonkers.

And if you think you’ve heard all that before, it’s not half as predictable as The Offspring’s way of telling you. This is straightforward, brainless thug-punk. The lyrics may be updated, but otherwise it’s business as usual: brain-pummelling drums, yelling, and colliding, scrambling guitar riffs – ‘No Brakes’ is the Beastie Boys stripped of credibility after songwriting lessons from The Presidents Of The USA.

It’s an accidental marriage of style and content: The Offspring’s punk-by-numbers is as dated and intrinsically American as the whole chat-show issue. And equally irritating.