The Offspring have 40 years and 10 albums under their studded leather belts. I’m here to say that 1998’s Americana is the worst Offspring album.
Did I do a deep dive into the entire Offspring discography to arrive at this conclusion? Of course not! I don’t have time to listen to 10 Offspring albums. I’m over here trying to raise these kids and program this radio station and put together a decent radio show. No, this is a lazy, knee-jerk take designed purely to entertain and to settle a score that goes back 25 years to the album’s first release.
I started in college radio in 1996. I started interning in commercial radio (WFNX, RIP) in early 1997. By 1998, I was on the air on the weekend and filling in during the week. Between programming my own college radio show, interning for legendary WFNX Music Director Laurie Gail, and being on-air on FNX, I was an expert on the alternative rock of the ’90s. I was fully immersed.
I Think It’s Safe to Say That This is the Worst Offspring Album
We started playing the leadoff single from Americana a week before the album dropped on November 17, 1998. It was “Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)” and it sucked. It wasn’t punk; it was corny. But it was The Offspring, and they had a run of absolute smashers (pun intended) throughout the ’90s, so they got the benefit of the doubt and got their new, crummy song played on the radio.
My issue was this: there were better punk songs to play. Here we were, wasting time on these silly new Offspring songs and ignoring Fugazi‘s End Hits and Dropkick Murphys new debut album Do Or Die. True story: I used to fly through my overnight hours so I’d have 2 minutes left at the end of the hour to fill, just to have an excuse to sneak “Get Up” from Do Or Die on the air.
As you’ve probably figured out, this isn’t actually a hit piece on Americana. It’s an homage to a young Adam 12, budding alt-rock DJ and suburban punk who just wanted to play songs on the radio that were cooler than the new ones from The Offspring. He wasn’t as cool as he thought he was, but he had heart an authenticity. Anyway, since we’re here, let’s make fun of Americana some more.