To the use the term ’Supergroup’ whilst trying to avoid any connotations to tired, musically jaded rock stars releasing self-indulgent jam sessions is the only way to describe Los Angeles Punk rockers OFF!. Featuring Keith Morris from Black Flag and The Circle jerks (like you have to be told!) Dimitri Coats of Burning Brides, Steve McDonald from legendary power poppers Redd Kross and Former Pro-Skateboarder Mario Rubalcaba (who has played Drums for every San Diego band that matters in the last 15 years such as Pinback, Rockets From the Crypt, Hot Snakes and The Black Heart Procession to name a few) and armed with a sound that’s straight from the West coast punk and hardcore scene of the 80’s where bands like The Germs, D.I and TSOL thrived and ultimately burned against the backdrop of sunny, golden beaches and trashed suburban house parties.
Following on from 2010’s ‘First Four Years’ compilation and the three EP’s that the band have dropped since (including the amazing split 7” with The Melvins that appeared earlier this year) ‘OFF!’ sees the band just as heavy and aggressive as that debut whilst displaying more than enough pissed off snarl and showing no intention of calming down as they blast through these 16 tracks in just over 15 minutes.
For a frontman that’s nearly 57 years old Keith Morris sounds just as angry and full of bile as he did on The Circle Jerks seminal ‘Group Sex’ album 30 years ago while Dimitri Coats discordant squalls of guitar fuels songs like “Borrow and bomb”, “King Kong Brigade” and the album’s first single “Wiped out” into angry confrontations with Rubalcaba’s possessed drumming. Of course there is no variety of sound on offer other than nihilistic, frenzied hardcore and only a handful songs that last longer than a minute but what do you expect? Go listen to Rush if that’s what you want.
‘OFF!’ succeeds in capturing the bands frenzied, chaotic live show on record, you can almost taste the blood and sweat of cramped basement punk shows coming from the speakers and spilling out like a fight in front of your stereo. While the legacy of Black Flag and The Circle Jerks lives on in bands like Fucked Up, Brooklyn’s Cerebral Ballzy and Sacramento’s Trash Talk (who Morris provided backing vocals on their ‘East of Eden’ single) it’s inspiring to see there is still no one more pissed off at the world around him than Keith Morris and his OFF! bandmates.