Despite punk's inevitable slow decline from its heavily hyped, mid-decade high, The Offspring continue to wave the '90s-punk banner with the release of "Americana." The album-length observation on modern culture finds the band taking stabs at freeloaders, women problems and cultural stereotypes, as in the instant hit, "Pretty Fly for a White Guy" -- a satire of Caucasian gangsta wannabes trying to be down with the 'hood. The band mixes and matches styles and tempos on songs such as the reggae-inflected "Why Don't You Get a Job" and the mopey '70s classic "Feelings."
But the album's standout track is its last one. The sitar-driven intro of "Pay the Man" leads into a Jane's Addiction-sounding riff, with frontman Dexter Holland's vocals straying far into Perry Farrell territory.
"Americana" offers nothing radically different from The Offspring's previous releases -- the band's catchy, anthemic feel has successfully carried over to the new recording. The only problem The Offspring may have is getting people to look past the airplay-overkill of their "Pretty Fly" single.