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Not Gone Away: The Offspring’s comeback album, ‘Let the Bad Times Roll,’ proves they “didn’t go anywhere”

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Credit: Daveed Benito

The Offspring‘s new album is finally here.

Let the Bad Times Roll, the 10th studio effort from the SoCal punks, arrives today, nearly a decade after the group’s last effort, 2012’s Days Go By. As guitarist Noodles tells ABC Audio, the band had been working on the new record for much of those nine years, and were even ready to release it after hitting a “real creative time.”

“Then, boom, pandemic, no touring,” Noodles says. “We’re, like, ‘Well, we don’t want to put a record out when we can’t tour,’ so then we took a look at the record and did more work on it.”

“Ultimately I think we ended up coming out with an even better record after that,” he adds.

As the album tweaking overlapped with sillier projects, including covering “Here Kitty Kitty” from Tiger King, The Offspring eventually realized they “had to get the record out there to the fans.””

While the track record for long-gestating albums from bands multiple decades into their careers is perhaps less-than stellar, Let the Bad Times Roll is a spirited, lively listen that, as Noodles says, proves The Offspring “didn’t go anywhere.”

The energy of the music is matched in the lyrics, which tackle topics including mental health and drug use, as well as “the fact that people aren’t having sex as much as they once were,” as heard in the song, “We Never Have Sex Anymore.” While those have always been been things The Offspring’s written about, Noodles feels the lyrics have been “brought into sharper focus” amid the pandemic.

“We’ve been forced to kinda go into our own corners and stay away from other people,” he says. “All those things…you just feel them a little bit more deeply and intensely, I guess.”

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