January 08, 2001 12:00 PM

The Offspring (Columbia)

Album of the week


Home of Disneyland, bastion of staunch conservatism, Orange County, Calif., has acquired new and unexpected cachet as a hotbed of adrenaline-fueled pop sounds. Led by punk rockers like Social Distortion, Lit and the ska-influenced No Doubt, the O.C. invasion was buoyed back in 1994 by Offspring, the four-member band from Anaheim that sold a whopping 11 million copies of its breakthrough CD, Smash, Then, two years ago, came Americana, which sold 10 million copies and scored a mainstream pop hit with the faux hip-hop, just-for-laughs track, “Pretty Fly (for a White Guy).”

Now on their sixth album Offspring turns out more novelty songs, including “Original Prankster,” an antiestablishment, good-time track that blends front man Bryan “Dexter” Holland’s half-shouted vocals and Kevin “Noodles” Wasserman’s thrashing guitar. A sinuous Latin beat provided by drummer Ron Welty enlivens “Living in Chaos.” Teen angst and leavening gobs of humor highlight “Dammit, I Changed Again.” Even “Special Delivery,” a tune about stalkers, is played for laughs when the “ooga chaka” riff from Blue Swede’s “Hooked on a Feeling” is laced into the mix as a sonic joke.

Bottom Line: Pretty sly, for white guys

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