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Offspring Grows Musically but Its Themes Remain the Same

After nearly a decade bashing out crunchy punk rock with a pop flair and a metallic twist, the Offspring has shown little maturity in its world view. Creeping suburban ennui, adolescent angst and girl trouble remain familiar targets for the Orange County outfit’s heavy-duty sarcasm. But even if the group hasn’t grown much in what it has to say, it delivers the sentiments in great form. Cleverly crafted tunes and snappy playing make all the familiar sneers and jeers sizzle anew on the Offspring’s fifth album (in stores Tuesday).

Taking America to task with snot-nosed vim, the quartet slams everything from faux hip-hop hipsters (“Pretty Fly [For a White Guy]”) to slackerism and Morris Albert; one of the album’s finer moments is a blistering rendition of Albert’s “Feelings” that’s more demolition than deconstruction. The hooks fly hummably throughout, and the raw rock energy never lets up. It’s just a shame the Offspring--which plays Tuesday through Thursday at the Palace and Saturday at the Glass House in Pomona--can’t match its incite-ful musical attack with a more insightful sense of purpose.

Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good) and four stars (excellent). The albums are already released unless otherwise noted.


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