There was a long stretch in the mid-to-late ‘80s and early ‘90s that—barring obvious exceptions—punk rock was in a dire stretch. This is conjecture: the Young Offenders are older dudes who had to live through that relative dry spell, so it makes sense that a new band goes to the achin’ roots of punk, harvests them by the handfuls, and conditions them to something along the lines of home brewing. Yeah, there’s Elvis Costello; yeah, there’s Adverts; but there’s also The Observers, The Marked Men, Giant Haystacks, and No Hope For The Kids. Here’s a seemingly small—but ultimately important—distinction. All of those influences get processed—from being purified into thick malt to being poured and patiently fermented into individual bottles. It’s the craft in which they’re re-presented is what’s so striking. Basic, age-old ingredients become new fuel in now-time. You don’t have to know any of this process, really. Open the bottle, drink, enjoy. But if you can hear that care for detail, realizing all the crappy chaff they left out—as much as what they put in—the enjoyment to listening along to this 7” becomes much deeper. Hell yeah.
–todd (Parts Unknown)