Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace - The Offspring

Last updated 15:17 17/06/2008

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Forget about novelty hits - The Offspring are getting serious, and their latest reinvention has been described by some as comparable to Green Day's American Idiot.

War appears to be at the top of front man Dexter Holland's agenda on Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace - the band's first album in almost five years, but the serious subject matter suits the band.

Songs like Trust In You and Hammerhead resemble the Offspring from 1994's Smash - their biggest-selling album which also remains their best.

There are plenty more moshpit-mangling moments, especially on album opener Half-Truism and potential single You're Going to Go Far Kid, while the Green Day comparisons will continue thanks to frenetic album closer Rise and Fall.

Then there's album highlight Stuff Is Messed Up, which finds Holland complaining about "bullets getting better" and "biblical weather", accompanied by one of those insane "la-la" choruses only The Offspring can pull off.

It's not all perfect - Kristy, Are You Doing Okay? and Fix You come across as too earnest - but The Offspring's gamble to head to the future by looking to the past has worked a treat.

Let's hope they've stopped singing about fly white guys for good.

*The Offspring's Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace is out now through SonyBMG.

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