Hardcore supergroup Off! issued its first of four EPs in 2010, a self-titled LP in 2012, and now a second LP that’s not much longer than some EPs. Wasted Years contains 16 tracks that clock in collectively at under 24 minutes. Singer Keith Morris, co-founder of Black Flag and Circle Jerks, still maintains the raw vocal energy that helped establish those bands back in the late 1970s, especially on tracks “Red White and Black” and “Legion of Evil.” Elsewhere he exhibits a little “end-of-the-party” weariness (for example, “Death Trip on the Party Train”). At 58, Morris should be applauded for personally contradicting the lyrics to one of his signatory Circle Jerks’ songs, “Live Fast Die Young,” and perhaps it is the onset of his mellower autumnal years that is causing him to reflect on whether the earlier ones were truly wasted or just spent being wasted. In terms of personnel, Off! consists entirely of punk veterans: on guitar, Dimitri Coats of Burning Brides, on bass, Steven Shane McDonald of Redd Kross, and on drums, Mario Rubalcaba of Rocket From the Crypt. All fill their roles convincingly, providing enough feedback, distortion, and speed to make it suitably difficult to disentangle the nuances of any individual track. In addition to the music, hardcore die-hards are sure to appreciate the cover art by the iconic Raymond Pettibon.
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