Album Review: OFF! – Wasted Years

As well as fighting over what remains of Flag/Black Flag, Keith Morris has also been busy producing something worthwhile with OFF!. And for those who want a taste of vintage Black Flag, without the bitter aftertaste of sour grapes, ‘Wasted Years’ is the solution.

An amazing slice of harcore punk-rock, ‘Wasted Years’ has a uniquely Californian skate vibe; a throwback to the long-passed times of tape decks and skate decks, but with a polished, modern twist.

The best thing about ‘Wasted Years’ is the snarling delivery of Keith Morris’ vocals, especially the dripping-with-cynicism lines of ‘Red, White and Black’, where the lines “you’re a living punchline and the jokes on you” and “arrogance is bliss, who gives a shit?” sound like a verbal assault on the listener. The lyrics featured here are great, with “today’s a good day as any, to tell you to go get fucked” from ‘Exorcised’ being one of my favourites. ‘Wasted Years’ is alive with anger and energy, giving it an edge over its current counterparts.  It’s not all angst and bitterness though, as ‘Death Trip on the Party Train,’ plus plenty of heavy-handed references to drug dealers, will attest.

Despite only being 22-minutes long, it’s hard to feel short changed by ‘Wasted Years’, with 16 tracks of non-stop aggression, riffs and catchiness, the record seems the perfect length. There’s also an amazing amount of replay value, as once the initial bounciness of the record wears off underneath is a well-written, tight album with plenty of lyrical gems to discover. 

Fast and fun, OFF!’s ‘Wasted Years’  is an attack on the senses in the best possible way, well written and tightly played without overstaying its welcome. ‘Wasted Years’ is without a doubt one of the best albums of the year so far. 


‘Wasted Years’ by OFF! is out now via Vice Records.

OFF! Links: Website|Facebook|Twitter

Words by Jay Sullivan


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