Review: Off!’s Off!

Off!Off!: s/t (Vice, 5/8/12)

“Wiped Out”

[audio:|titles=Off!: “Wiped Out”]

Sixteen tracks, sixteen minutes, and zero apologies — the first full-length album from Off! is exactly as one would expect. Led by Circle Jerks singer Keith Morris and Burning Brides guitarist Dimitri Coats, the side-project-turned-top-priority is an exercise in punk aesthetics, from the über-short running times to the incensed attitude.

If you’re familiar with the previous Off! EPs or Morris’ vocal style, you’ll find little different here. But despite the material’s tendency to blend together, no individual track overstays its welcome, as each is an ample dose of punk ferocity.

Musically, nearly every song maxes out at four or five power chords, but there are brief moments of variety, whether the noisy, blistering solo (all 10 seconds of it) on “Wiped Out,” a few dissonant, ringing chords in “Jet Black Girls,” or the non-power-chord riffs of “Vaporized.” Even “King Kong Brigade” — the album’s longest track at 1:36 — includes an intro and outro.

Morris’ vocals are an acquired taste, and his lyrics at times are a shortcoming. But his screams still hold up, and they’re an important part of Off!’s no-bullshit songwriting.

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