A punk rock veteran playing with a younger band? Sounds like a mid-afternoon slot at Fun Fun Fun Fest.
Said band is OFF!, and said veteran is Keith Morris, still best known as the singer of the Circle Jerks. If you like it fast, loud, and direct, OFF! is your group, bringing together SoCal 80s hardcore with a Motor City straightforwardness taken from the MC5.
That unvarnished speed is comfort food for the Black Stage – familiar and filling. By contrast, Morris is somewhat known to go on extended rants about punk, politics, and whatever else is racing through his mind. This time, he cut himself off just a bit, and even jokingly acknowledged he likes to give “10-minute lectures.”
Chiefly, he squashed a rumor that he encouraged younger fans not to vote. He also threw in a dirty joke about Hillary Clinton, because even a politically conscious punk like him has to be at least a little bit vulgar.
Like The Dwarves on Friday, OFF! delivered a solid set of no-nonsense punk, but there was a little vitality missing. Topping F-cked Up would have been too tall of an order; Morris would have had to swing fans on his stately dreads to approach that. Still, younger punk groups on the fest have been taking more risks and formed more immediate connections. Punk has been bigger than three chords and Xerox flyers for a long time now, and groups like OFF! can’t quite keep up.