Snarlingly pissed off and inanely entertaining
With its instantly familiar Raymond Pettibon artwork, OFF!’s caustic, brain-blasting debut chucks you back to the Black Flag-helmed glory days of West Coast punk before you’re slammed against the wall by its grubby thrashing. It’s fitting, as this LA four-piece is a hardcore hall of fame, with members of Circle Jerks, Rocket From The Crypt, Burning Brides and Redd Kross in its ranks. Buckled together by 16 muscular but brief tracks – most loiter around the one-minute mark and many are significantly shorter – it’s a bolshie, unapologetic barrage of electroshock rock’n’roll that’s as snarlingly pissed off as it is inanely entertaining. OFF! might be a one-trick pony, but they don’t dare give you enough time to complain about it. There’s also something mighty pleasing about hearing a 56-year-old yelling alongside jackhammer drums on tracks with names like ‘Toxic Box’ and ‘Feelings Are Meant To Be Hurt’ and not sounding like your dad doing Sham 69 at karaoke.