I have a confession to make.
The first time I listened through The Offspring’s 1994 release, Smash, was not the greatest experience of my life. It sounded sloppy, repetitive, and annoying. I was going to turn this into a seething review, and I was going to completely trash a highly critically acclaimed album. After several more listens to it, that’s exactly what I’m going to do.
But before I have my little moment of fun, there are a few high points I have to address. “Nitro (Youth Energy)” and “Come Out and Play” are both fun, fast paced songs with mainstream popularity.
“Come Out and Play” has some nice starts and stops, a cool latin-style guitar riff, and a very unique feel to it — I’ve officially dubbed it “latin-punk.” It is easily the highest point on the album.
“Nitro” is another mainstream selection that takes me back to the soundtrack of that one NHL game I can’t remember the name of (“yeah that one, Jeremy”).
Another good part of the album is the bridge of “Something To Believe In.” While the rest of the song is decent, the bridge has an awesome bass riff played by Greg K.
Now… it begins.
But where should I begin? Well for starters, nearly every song sounds exactly the same. If you think you accidentally set the song to repeat while listening to Smash, you wouldn’t be the only one. It’s almost like one of the members came in to the studio, drunk as a skunk, with this awesome idea for a concept album that involved the same song being played over and over and over again.
Adding to my drunk theory is the fact that the vocals sound like someone at a karaoke bar had a couple too many. In “Bad Habit,” lead vocalist Dexter Holland shows off his guy-on-a-bender impression especially well, accompanied by the line “Hey man, you know I’m really okay.”
By the end of the tracklist, the lack of creativity or originality is very prominent. Odds are you aren’t even going to make it to the end of the tracklist at all (I envy you), and if you do, you’ll understand my pain.
Overall ranking: 3/10