New Blood 5: OFF! have just released the best punk album for years – by John Robb

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Keith Morris fronted Black Flag in the early days. He then put together Circle Jerks becoming one of the key players in American hardcore. Just when it seemed like it had all gone quiet over there he suddenly re-emerges with Off! and has just released the best punk rock/hardcore album for a long time claims a very excited John Robb

You need a fix?

You need  a fix?

A fix of adrenaline?

A fix of something that invigorates you and makes you feel alive.

Something that shatters the recession gloom.

Something that proves that punk rock in the right hands is still the unpinned grenade?

Meet Keith Morris and his band OFF!

Keith Morris was one of the original singers for Black Flag before Henry Rollins took over the mic. He then fronted Circle Jerks for years on end. He’s been trying to the Circle Jerks back together for a long time but then cut his losses and threw together OFF! With Steve MacDonald from Red Kross on guitar and Dimitri Coats (Burning Brides), Steven McDonald (Redd Kross), and Mario Rubalcaba (Earthless/Hot Snakes/Rocket From the Crypt) ”¦a veritable hardcore supergroup.

They hit the studio and laid down 16 killer tracks of molten primetime hardcore released this month ad ‘the first four EP’s’ on Vice Records. The tracks sound like they were recorded in the white heat of 1981 when the recession was coming down like a tone of shit bricks and everyone was angry as fuck.
Perfect timing then.

They have managed to make a hardcore record that is utterly revelent in 2010 and sounds  like the perfect antidote to the banker’s new world- a mean and cruel place where the recession is just beginning to eat everyone. They also sound like the perfect antidote to the gimp indie that is wrecking the also called alternative scene and are a stark reminder of the power of hardcore before the fretwanks came along and ruined it.

These songs are barely one minute long songs of unconcealed anger and brattish potent energy and the most thrilling ramalama slice of punk rock I’ve heard for yonks. Political? damn right.

The album is out next week and is series of short, sharp, shocks of legs akimbo, riffing punk rock hardcore- barre chords slashed out and no boring guitar solos to ruin anything- just fierce note flurries when Keith momentarily runs out of words. Every note counts and the impact is stunning. This is so damn intense it makes you want to form a band.

A perfect record. (and the artwork is provided by Pettibon- how perfect is that!)


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2 comments on “New Blood 5: OFF! have just released the best punk album for years – by John Robb”

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  1. Thanks for telling me about Off! Keith Morris has never sounded so urgent. I’m off to form a hardcore band right now!

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