OFF! wholeheartedly deserves the title of punk-rock super group. With their band t-shirts, power stances, and sweaty hair, this foursome bring out the 18 year old, under-aged drinker in all of us. Part reverie and part release, an OFF! show is a lesson in musical history, a spectacle of punk-rock appreciation, a walk through the mosh-pit of memory lane.
OFF!’s record release party at the historic Whisky A Go Go could not have been better placed. Frontman Keith Morris’ (initially of Black Flag and Circle Jerks fame) uncle-like story telling of shows he saw in the ’70s, and times he got drunk with other hardcore legends and rolled dumpsters down hills, fit perfectly in the packed house of early punk rock. The venue is a home to history and where history this night was made.
Following Morris’ brief opening remarks, OFF! unleashed an all out frenzy. Old school punk was resurrected. Faces smiled ear to ear before some went nuts in the pit or floated to get a closer glimpse or a high five from one of the guys on stage. Dudes in hoodies hollered “Mario Speedwagon!” to drummer, Mario Rubalcaba, and “PUNK ROCK!” to anyone who would listen, getting laughs from the band, whose 17 songs melted faces.
In response to the adulation, Morris joked, “Do you really consider us a punk rock band? I’m just a member of the human race, and I’m really pissed off. Can’t a guy just play really hardcore fast paced-music?” Naturally, the predominantly all dude audience proclaimed, “YES!” and OFF! was back at it with more loud, hardcore, punk rock.
The 40 minute set included four new songs from the Vice Records May 8, 2012, release, and at least one broken nose from a nasty spill in the pit. Writer plea: Do NOT miss a live OFF! show if you can help it.
Official Video for “Wiped Out”