Hardcore punk isn't dead.
While some bands are reuniting, a few new ones have formed, and none are as powerful or well-regarded as OFF!
And speaking of those reunions, OFF! formed from the ashes of one rather by accident.
Guitarist Dimitri Coats, formerly of Burning Brides, wanted to produce an album for California punk group Circle Jerks.
“I convinced those guys that they needed to make a record. They were either gonna break up or do something spectacular,” Coats said from OFF!'s tour in Florida. “I tried to help them pull a rabbit out of the hat.”
The band broke up, but Coats still pulled off a magic trick. He began writing songs with Circle Jerks frontman Keith Morris, which became the basis for OFF!'s first EP.
Coats reached deep into Morris' past with bands like Circle Jerks and Black Flag for inspiration and the singer enjoyed what he heard.
“It was a weird accident that we landed on that turf. I didn't come from hardcore,” Coats said. “It's really more about two guys that are bros that are playing classic rock records and drinking a bunch of coffee and hanging out and eating burritos. We're doing what kids do but we're middle-aged guys.”
The result is a set of powerful songs packed into very short bursts — no song goes much longer than a minute on the band's new, self-titled album.
Don't let the length fool you. The band plays hard and fast, so one minute of their music packs in as much intensity as 10 regular-length pop tunes.
“The goal is for each line to be as strong as possible. It's sort of like punk rock poetry,” Coats said. “Keith has a certain filter with the way that he perceives the world, and when it's expressed properly, it's really something. I just try to help him do that.”
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