Thursday, February 24, 2011

Album Review - OFF! - First Four EP's -

This review is part of the "Over Flow" Review Series. For various reasons these past reviews were not published anywhere else. I am tagging them as "Overflow Reviews" and may add some extra information after if needed but I will keep the ratings and reviews just as I originally wrote them. Enjoy:
First Four Ep's
**** out of *****

Remember when punk was more of a way of life/movement rather then a genre and *gulp* a Broadway musical?!  The members of OFF! certainly do as they were the ones who helped in it's infancy and unwittingly lead it to today's heights/depths depending on who you ask.  This group is undoubtedly legends in punk circles, consisting of Keith Morris on vocals of Circle Jerks/Black Flag fame, Guitarist Dimitri Coats from Burning Bridges, Red Kross Bassist Steven Shane MacDonald and Rocket from the Crypt drummer Mario Rubalcaba.

The aggression of the early 80's are back in all its raw brevity. The 16 tracks are done in 16 that is how you get your point across!  There are no hidden meanings or even revisions to the topics, tracks like "Panic Attack" and "Black Thoughts" sound exactly as they are titled; rampaging straight ahead attacks that ferociously deal with bleakness.  With the band being a bit older, "Blast" and "I Don't Belong" seem to be reflective but can work just as well for the 12 year old skater to describe their weekend and that is why 'real' punk rock still contains so much power.   

First Four EP's allows old school punks to move into this century and new jacks to get a true feeling to what it was like.  We (including the band) all get new songs to thrash and scream with, then place right next to worn out tapes and seven inches of the classics.     

It's pretty cool when you can start to listen to an album and start to read the review and be finished about the same time with both.  If you were ever a fan of Early punk rock you need this album, it is a stark reminder that things did sound pretty great and surprisingly still can; it made me dig out some old peaches and while I will gladly admit the Circle Jerks never did it for me, Black Flag was vital in the musical upbringing.  My first exposure to them was borrowing Everything Went Black so I was exposed to Keith from the first song I ever heard of theirs, which  was "Gimme Gimme Gimme" and I freaking loved it.

First Four EP's brings back those feelings, granted not everyone is going to love it, but those who do will REALLY like it.  I will tell you, seeing kids forming a pit and stage diving at Screaming Females and now listening to this album again, I am starting think things might be swinging back to exciting and raw with some popular punk bands (don't yell at me NYHC fans, I know you are all still/always hardcore) at large shows as opposed to standing around.

It reminds you you're alive to be young and in a huge pit... 

Official release of "Upside Down", God Bless Skate Punk.

Some sample live clips to get you juiced or give you an idea if you just read everything above and thought it was written in Wing Dings font:

 First Ep Celebration Live "Black Thoughts" etc....

"Darkness" "Panic Attack" "Upside Down" from club Europa:

Because now I need to hear it: "Gimme Gimme Gimme" (plus the first Ten Minutes of the Album):

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