The sound and attitude of punk have been reduced to rock bands wearing Dead Kennedy T-shirts at fashion shoots. Thankfully, Off! continues its revival of hard-core punk with a gloriously intense third full-length record. The band, a supergroup of veterans from various defunct groups including the Circle Jerks and Rocket From the Crypt, surges through 16 short, uncompromising songs recorded live with the kind of urgency that recalls the best of the Minutemen and early Black Flag. Lead vocalist Keith Morris ferociously rails against ignorance and hypocrisy while looking for a center in a chaotic world. Anchored by the powerful yet agile rhythm section of bassist Steven Shane McDonald and drummer Mario Rubalcaba and driven by guitarist Dimitri Coats’s noisy restlessness, the band knows two modes: hard and harder. That’s all they need. When everything coalesces to take the songs up a notch, especially on “Death Trip on a Party Train” or “Meet Your God,” they prove punk rock knows no age limit. (Out Tuesday)
ESSENTIAL “Death Trip on a Party Train”Ken Capobianco can be reached at email@example.com.