“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” was probably uttered between bandmates when The Offspring were putting together Let The Bad Times Roll. Rather than try to reinvent the wheel, the California punk-rock band dove right into what made them famous in the nineties and early two-thousands. Their songs are in your face, a bit rambunctious, and accompanied by the one obligatory slow song to change up what is otherwise an even beat throughout.
Fans of the band will find a healthy serving of punk’s glory days with an added slathering of nostalgic glaze. However, teens and tweens who actually decide what is popular in today’s music industry probably won’t find The Offspring on the algorithm feeding them new music. For the TikTok generation who stumbled upon this review, The Offspring is similar to Sum 41, just a decade older. They come from a different time when messiness and wild antics sold albums. Back then, cameras weren’t attached to phones, and they only captured snapshots of the party without the twenty-four-seven video that focused on the hangover of the next day.
In an age when artists often release deluxe versions right alongside the standard album, there is something to appreciate about a band that is confident with twelve songs and a thirty-three-minute run time. There is no filler, and overall, the whole album is a blast to listen through from open to close. While “We Never Have Sex Anymore” is punchy and packed with self-effacing humor and “Gone Away” is somber and endearing, the rest of the album is trademark nineties’ garage punk rock in which the drummer and guitarist are competing for attention, while the singer yells over both of them.
Every listener will have their individual favorites, but there is not much to differentiate each song besides the lyrics themselves. When played amongst other songs from The Offspring discography, it would be hard for an untrained ear to pick out what is from their early and later days. The Offspring have found their groove and stuck with it for the endangered species which is the punk fan.
Let The Bad Times Roll is not the new flashy restaurant in town. It is the joy of realizing your favorite pizza shop is still open despite thinking they had closed their doors years ago. The songs do not reach the heights of their old hits, “The Kids Aren’t Alright” and “You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid”, but with hover cars coming around the corner, The Offspring provides the thrill of hitting the road in a vintage model that just got a new transmission.