The Offspring - Days Go By (Columbia) 

Back to basics for the melodic SoCal punk rockers

Not much has changed since the Offspring's mid-'90s peak. They're still playing melodic SoCal punk with a shot of alt-rock self-importance. They're still angry smartasses softened by occasional flairs of cheese. And they're still skirting the line between muscular and meathead. Days Go By, their ninth album, and first in four years, makes the usual rounds with fist-raising sloganeering ("The Future Is Now"), misty-eyed nostalgia ("Days Go By") and goofball surfer-dude rap ("Cruising California [Bumpin' in My Trunk]"). The band — particularly singer Dexter Holland and guitarist Noodles — sound like they haven't aged a day since "Come Out and Play" made them radio stars 18 years ago. But they don't sound like they've learned anything new since then either.

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