Picks and Pans Review: Splinter

updated 01/26/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/26/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST

PUNK-POP

The Offspring

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Twenty years and seven albums after The Offspring formed in an Orange County high school, these punk-popsters are still pretty fly for white guys. On its latest, the quartet, led by singer-guitarist Dexter Holland, sounds like a bunch of overgrown skater boys on rad and rebellious tracks geared toward listeners young enough to be the Offspring's own kids. The CD kicks off with the pseudo fight song "Neocon," a chant for alienated adolescents everywhere: "We are strong/ We are right/ We won't be pushed aside/ We'll go on/ We will fight/ We will not compromise." The band has not compromised its sound on such punk-spiked rockers as "The Noose" and "Long Way Home," the latter of which gives the disc its title: "Like fragments of a broken mind/ I splinter by my own design." The group also displays a breezy pop touch and a sardonic sense of humor on the ska-styled ditty "The Worst Hangover Ever" and the cheating song "Spare Me the Details." But they stumble on a few formulaic metallic cuts like "Race Against Myself."

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