Song of the Day: The Offspring

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

The closest I ever got to being suspended from West Geagua Middle School was in eighth grade when my friends and I were sitting around playing music before basketball practice. We had a copy of The Offspring's Smash and were midway through screaming along to "Bad Habit" -- yes, the one with all the very bad words -- when a teacher walked in.

Back then, swearing was serious business. I was prety scared. Not sure how I got out of that one. I got really good grades, and good grades gave me a lot of leeway.

We played that record a lot in middle school, and that's where a lot of people felt it belonged. Neither snooty punk-rock audiences nor mainstream critics ever gave them enough credit for making some of the most creative, subversive music within the pop-punk genre blown open by Green Day.

This song is a good reminder of the band's power and grace, often under fire, and the dexterity and versatility of singer Dexter Holland. Writhing and as melodic as they've ever been, this one changes feels about tens times but never lets go until the last symbal crash.