Tonight I finally got to see OFF! and it was awesome. When I was a kid seeing punk bands I had a complete lack of appreciation for lyrics.

Don’t ask me why, but as long as it had a fast back beat and distorted guitars, I was pretty happy. Fortunately, my tastes have changed and lyrics definitely means something when listening to a band. Lyrics are still not the most important thing to me, but when they are great it makes the song amazing.

This is what OFF! did so well. Keith Morris is amazing. Period.

A lot of people don’t understand punk. It isn’t about anger or violence or negativity. Punk is self expression. Keith Morris understands this and is a great advocate. His lyrics are simple and understandable amidst the squall and rumble of the music. They connect with people directly without an ounce of cliche or reminiscence. He makes hardcore punk feel new.

The music has the same effect. The drums are intense with a background of elegance. You can completely ignore them beating away and for that split second when you end up hearing them, you’re floored. The guitar sounds thick and huge even though the effect is thin and scrappy. The bass breaks up and growls. It sounds odd outside the songs, but during it is a critical part of the wall of aggressive sound. I love it.

I missed many opportunities to see OFF! It was redeeming the show blew my mind and made the wait worth it. If you have a chance, go watch. It is not nostalgia yet it speaks to a time when the mainstream was a different world than the underground. You can feel like your a part of something and find a sense of community. You see musicians that are passionate and skilled, making loud, aggressive music that is infectious. I can only hope that one day people can say the same of the music I’ve made.