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The best punk music is in this section, don’t miss it!

Bad religion (No control)

Suffer had already wound the meter on Bad Religion’s Cali hardcore even tighter — No Control simply and forcefully continued the shift, delivering a pummel of melodic songwriting made sharp by Greg Graffin’s populist cynicism and the stinging barbs of a twin-guitar strike. The remastering for the 2004 version greatly amplified the album’s volume. It might also strip away some reverb from the instrumentation, but the latter observation is mostly theoretical, as the later No Control really just sounds louder. This is welcome, as it makes the band sound that much more direct on principal cuts like “I Want to Conquer the World,” “Automatic Man,” the aggressive title track, and “Progress”.

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Bad religion (The gray race)

In 1996, Bad Religion released The Gray Race, their first album without founding member Brett Gurewitz, who had left the band the year before due to the growing popularity of his own record label Epitaph. He would be replaced by Brian Baker, who at that point was best known for his work in Washington DC’s punk scene. There are noticeable differences between, which had already existed on their previous release Stanger than Fiction, this and the band’s Epitaph days.

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NOFX (Ribbed)

This album can stand its ground next to most of their newer albums. It shows the origins of their sound, and how they developed it, not to mention the humorous lyrics which are now a staple part of NOFX’s songs.

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NOFX (S&M airlines)

A good buy, but not the the classic NOFX sound of the 90’s, it is surprisingly influenced by metal, and there are few great songs. However, it’s essential for any NOFX fan looking to see how they developed as a band.

This was NOFX’s 2nd album, released in 1989, (Liberal Animation was originally released before this, but then re-released in 1991 on Epitaph). It is 12 tracks long, although one of them is a cover of a Fleetwood Mac song, and the album is under 34 minutes long.

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NOFX (Liberal animation)

Recorded by Brett Gurewitz of Bad Religion/Epitaph fame, NOFX, in 1988, proved to be a formidable challenge for even him. The sound is very raw and loose; the lyrics are slightly humorous at best and sophomoric at worst. Compared to the brilliant work that followed after the band became serious, it’s a tough listen. Liberal Animation sounds as if a talented, up-and-coming band somehow got three days in a studio with a legendary producer but didn’t yet know how to take advantage of such an opportunity, so instead turned it into a laughable experience. After selling it independently with dismal results, the band finally turned it over to Epitaph in 1991. One song, “Beer Bong,” still creeps into the band’s set list and features Fat Mike belching on command.

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The offspring (Days go by)

“The Future Is Now”, is a great way to kick-off the LP, delivering a fresh energy that amalgamates everything we know and love about them: breakneck tempos, catchy melodies and a fantastic vocal performance from Dexter; but there’s an exhilarating rejuvenation at the base of a lot of the tracks here, which is why this feels like the best album they’ve done in ages. The first half of the LP is more of a fan-pleaser; delivering a selection of signature sounds from the band, as well as songs like the title-track, “Days Gone By”, which has a Foo Fighters-esque, stadium rock vibe to it and “Turning Into You” for its continued use of Rise Against as a heavy influence.

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The offspring (Splinter)

On Splinter, The Offspring scratch their super pop-punk tracks, seen on their last two releases, and replace them with heavy and punkier songs. Among these are Race Against Myself, Never Gonna Find Me, and Lightning Rod. These tracks consist of heavy riffs and fast, pounding drum work. Singer Dexter Holland’s vocals are deeply serious and emotional throughout. What’s so great about them is their aggressive edge most notably on The Noose. The Noose has a classic, killer riff and fast in your face vocals from Dexter.

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The offspring (Conspiracy of one)

Contrary to the popular belief of music critics, listeners and artists alike, a band that doesn’t deviate from its genre on its albums isn’t musically limited. There are many layers to any given genre of music, and growing into it is just as much of an accomplishment as, say, experimenting with several different categories. What’s wrong with sounding the same if you get better and better at it with each album? On Conspiracy of One, the Offspring do just that, resulting in their most musically mature collection to date. The tight arrangements, vocal interplay and refined guitar work on “Original Prankster,” “Want You Bad,” and “Million Miles Away” sound like Offspring songs, but don’t all sound the same. The band departs from its SoCal punk roots at times — a ballad called “Denial, Revisited” provides one of the album’s slower instances. They also inject elements of hip-hop, rap-metal, and Nirvana-like grunge into a few songs, giving Conspiracy of One some musical diversity, but it’s subtle; the album remains firmly planted in the world of punk. Each song features Dexter Holland’s lead vocals and Noodles and Holland’s crafty guitar playing, the group’s two defining factors. The album also features some smart lyrics, though the Offspring do have some sophomoric fun on the party anthem “One Fine Day.” Conspiracy of One is a solid and well-crafted recording and offers a fine progression from a band that has no qualms about doing what they do best.

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The offspring (Americana)

With integrity intact and a hearty combination of poppy punk and wit throughout, the Offspring’s fifth album is a raucous ride through America as seen through the eyes of a weary, but still optimistic, young kid. Riffs on political correctness, ’70s radio fodder, and suburban disquiet are spread thick on Americana. If the band’s targets seem a bit simple and predictable, its music rarely is. The SoCal roots aren’t played to a fault, the blend of salsa and alterna-rock sounds natural, and the Offspring pretty much laugh at their culture, as well as themselves, the entire time. Best track is “Pretty Fly (For a White Guy),” which manages to bridge Def Leppard and Latin hip-hop (and the musical timeline they represent) and, in the process, disrobes Middle America’s average white teen’s quick fascination with and instant disposability of a once-regional heritage. With Americana, the Offspring are merely contributing their part.

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