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Album Review: OFF! - Wasted Years

9 April 2014 | 9:30 am | Dan Condon

"If OFF!’s impassioned, unadorned hardcore has turned you on before, it’ll turn you on again with Wasted Years."

If you didn't like the first OFF! releases then there's no point trying Wasted Years; they haven't evolved much. It's loud and angry punk rock spluttered in short bursts by a seemingly constantly furious Keith Morris, while a tight, punishing band drip evil and punishing, but intricately arranged, hardcore behind him.

The album was recorded live in the band's rehearsal room, so the performances are perhaps slightly looser than before, but it's barely enough to notice. The sheen has barely been buffed – it doesn't really sound like a rehearsal room recording – but that's a good thing. Dimitri Coats' spiny riffs and the unrelenting blast of the rhythm section of Steven McDonald and Mario Rubacabla mesh so suitably that it feels okay to call OFF! one of the best rock bands in the world right now.

Lyrically Morris has never sounded angrier. “Ever feel you're being used?” he yells in Hypnotized – a veritable epic at two-and-a-quarter minutes – a simplistic line that just about sums up the disenchantment that pumps through every song. Whether he's yelling about addiction, the distribution of wealth or the inherent inequality in modern life in general, Morris doesn't even come close to sounding happy and that's pretty much exactly how we like it.

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At an average playing time of around 90 seconds, their songs are longer than ever, so if OFF!'s impassioned, unadorned hardcore has turned you on before, it'll turn you on again with Wasted Years.