Wednesday, May 4, 2011

'Compared To What' and 'Live at Generation Records' by OFF!

OFF! is the new band from former Circle Jerks and Black Flag vocalist Keith Morris, along with former members of Burning Brides, Redd Kross and Rocket From the Crypt/Hot Snakes. They are a band that understands the idea that great hardcore works better in small doses, so their output remains all on 45-rpm 7” EPs: a four-7” box set and now these two new releases, totaling six 7”s.

By Justin Schwier
Rating: 4/5
Southern Lord Records 7''

Compared To What musically is a little different from the majority of their songs from the First Four EPs box set from last year. There’s a bit of San Diego swagger to the song, almost as if they were channeling Drive Like Jehu or Hot Snakes guitar riffage heroics. While “Rotten Apple” is a rager of a song, more in tune to classic Circle Jerks style hardcore with a section in the middle with a near spoken vocal part where Morris uses that wonderful voice to great effect. Short and fast and certainly to the point, this single adds a bit of musical growth to the band's catalog. it also comes on one of the sturdiest pieces of vinyl I’ve seen. I just wish it came with a lyric sheet and a download card too.

By Justin Schwier
Rating: 3.5/5
Vice Records 7''

Live at Generation Records is another part of a series from a great record store in New York that throws free shows and has slowly been releasing the recordings. There are four songs on this one and all of them are performed with absolute precision and as raging as the studio versions. You gotta love bands that can 'bring it' live too. The only thing I really don’t like about this is that I wish there was more between song talking, as anyone who’s ever seen Keith Morris perform knows he TALKS and it’s usually some pretty great stuff that would compensate for the fact that all these songs come from last year's First Four EPs box set. Not 100% essential, but a good taste of what you’re gonna get if you see them play live.

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