Sound — 8
The Offspring are truly an interesting bunch. Metal inflicted pop-punk. Who'd've thunk? Yes, it is well known that their music is relatively simplistic, but it works, and this is obviously apparent on this album. Starting with a flurry of drums on "Nitro (Youth Energy)," Smash is gritty and raw, creating for the listener a mood of pure adrenaline, while appealing to one with a short attention span, like myself. Although different stylings are used, i.e., middle eastern style riffs on "Come Out And Play," a psuedo-ska rhythm on "What Happened To You?" and even grunge, a la "Self-Esteem," it can get a little repetitive after awhile. Now, that is not necessarily a bad thing, considering the style of music that the band plays. They were just doing what they do best, and as I said earlier, it works.
Lyrics — 10
Lyrically, this tends to be one of their stronger releases. It attacks various aspects of society, such as, youth/gang violence, drugs, the government, following things blindly, alienation, and even bad drivers. Something that is usually done in punk rock. Yet, on a different note, topics such as paranoia, relationships gone bad, and individuality are touched upon. It is meaningful, and make the listener think. Although not delievered with the world's greatest voice (Dexter's nasally, flat vocals, may be endearing, but, let's be honest: the dude can't sing all too well) they instill some thought into the listener, and I will gladly pick any song from this album over, say, the more comical "Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)" any day.
Overall Impression — 10
In closing, I will admit the following: of all the punk/pop-punk/punk revival bands out there, the Offspring is one of my absolute favorites. Listening to Smash, only shows why. This pure, undeniable testimony to punk gives the listener an adrenaline rush, while also, on occasion, provoking some thought. I love that factor of this album, I like music that makes me think. One of the few ways to make it better, would have been to release "Dirty Magic" on this album rather than Ignition (the song probably would not have fit in with the rest of the album, but, it is my favorite Offspring song, and to put it on my favorite Offspring album, would've been sublime). I rarely say this about any album that I own, but if something were to happen to this disc, I would immeadiately go out and buy it again: it's just that darn good.