The Offspring – Smash (1994)
What kind of music do you like?
A seemingly innocuous question. In middle school in the mid-90s however, this was a critical part of your identity. Much to my chagrin, there were only two acceptable answers:
a) Anything But Country
b) Nirvana, Green Day, and The Offspring
This may have been my first experience with musical tastes being a factor in social status. I missed the memo regarding middle-school music protocol – my typical answers of The Cure & Gin Blossoms, unacceptable!
So it was quite nice listening to this one two decades later, minus any pre-teen pressure to conform.
Which was the great irony: at this stage of their career, The Offspring were considered punk, a genre that inherently opposes the notion of falling in line with social norms!
Dexter Holland may have the most identifiable voice in the business. Obnoxious of course (and he doesn’t expend too much energy enunciating), but you don’t need the app ‘Shazam’ to instantly spot an Offspring tune.
Bad Habit’s memorable cursing, the “you gotta keep ‘em separated” cut-out, it was the perfect record for its time and its target audience. I still quite enjoy Gotta Get Away and there will always be a place for Self Esteem.
I listened to a CD copy & the intro soothingly describes putting on your ‘compact disc.’ I’m curious if there were alternate takes for audiocassettes & vinyl pressings!