Paul*Stanley, on april 14, 2014 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: Guitarist Dimitri Coats said in a recent Rolling Stone interview that he just moves his hands until it sounds like Black Sabbath at 45 RPM, and this rings true for OFF!'s third LP.
"Wasted Years" is OFF!'s angriest, hardest record to date. It's still in the same vein as their first two albums in the sense that it's manic-paced punk rock, but this time around the band's incorporated a few influences into their songs not yet seen in their catalog. In songs like "Legion of Evil" and "Hypnotized," OFF! gets their grunge and metal fix, flirting with other genres while maintaining what makes them OFF!. It's great to see them experimenting a little bit, and the fact that each of their records has had their own distinct sound has really helped them out because, at 16 songs each, these records could grow tired quickly. Luckily, OFF! isn't letting that happen.
Rhythm section men Shane McDonald and Mario Rubalcaba are as tight as ever. This is probably OFF!'s best guitar record yet and features their longest songs and largest instrumental breaks within them. The recordings sound roughly the same as their self-titled album. // 9
Lyrics: Keith Morris is less of a frontman, more of a madman. He's in full force on nearly ever song and he's as pissed as ever. As is typical for the 58 year-old, his lyrics deal with rejection, disdain, and giving the middle finger to whoever he feels deserves it (a list which never ends).
Particularly, he shines at the beginning of the album with "Void You Out" and "Red, White, and Black" where it seems as though he couldn't possibly sing any faster than he is. He doesn't exactly take many risks here (although he seems less pre-occupied with hating Greg Ginn than he did on their self-titled), but it certainly ain't broke, so Keith ain't fixing it. // 9
Overall Impression: OFF! is, without a doubt, one of the best punk bands currently playing. Not only does their material continue to stack up against other modern bands, but is as good as the '80s hardcore heyday.
Personally, my favorite songs on the album are "Legion of Evil," "Death Trip on the Party Train," and "Exorcised." Anyone who wasn't already a fan probably won't be won over, but this album is great for those who are already fans of the band. It's great to see the band touch on a few other genres and show the influence of some of their musical heroes while pumping out another sweat-soaked punk rock sprint. // 9