Splinter (The Offspring album)

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The Offspring Splinter.jpg
Studio album by The Offspring
Released December 9, 2003[1]
Recorded January–August 2003
Genre Punk rock,[1] skate punk[2]
Length 32:00
Label Columbia
Producer Brendan O'Brien, The Offspring
The Offspring chronology
Conspiracy of One
Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace
Singles from Splinter
  1. "Hit That"
    Released: December 9, 2003
  2. "(Can't Get My) Head Around You"
    Released: April 13, 2004
  3. "Spare Me the Details"
    Released: 2004 (Australia and New Zealand only)
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic (60/100) [3]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2.5/5 stars [1]
Alternative Press 3/5 stars [3]
Artistdirect 3.5/5 stars [4]
Blender 4/5 stars [5]
Entertainment Weekly B- [6]
Kerrang! 3/5 stars[citation needed]
PopMatters 4/10 stars [3][2]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars [7]
Spin (5/10) [8]
USA Today 2.5/4 stars [9]

Splinter is the seventh studio album by American punk rock band The Offspring, released on December 9, 2003. It was the first album the band released without drummer Ron Welty and also the first to have a Parental Advisory label on some album covers, even though all of their previous albums contain profanity.

Although not as successful as The Offspring's albums between Smash and Conspiracy of One, Splinter received gold certification two months after its release.[10] The album received average reviews, but still sold reasonably well. It debuted at 30 on the U.S. Billboard 200 with around 87,000 copies sold in its first week.[11] "Hit That" and "(Can't Get My) Head Around You" were the only two singles to accompany this album. "Spare Me the Details" was also released as a single, but charted only in New Zealand.

Production and marketing[edit]

After spending nearly two years supporting the Conspiracy of One album, The Offspring began writing songs for Splinter in late 2002. Recording sessions for the album lasted from January to August 2003, making it the first time The Offspring had recorded an album for that long (although their next album, 2008's Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace, took more than a year to record).

Uncomfortable with the idea of bringing in an immediate replacement for Welty, the band opted to have session musician Josh Freese play drums for the recording of the album, with plans to find a full-time drummer upon the record's completion.

The crowd vocals in the opening track "Neocon" were recorded at Reading Festival in 2002 during the Offspring's set on the festival's main stage. Estimates based on the capacity of Reading Festival would suggest at least 50,000 people are in the crowd.

Album title[edit]

On April Fools' Day 2003, the album's title was jokingly announced as Chinese Democrazy, a reference to the repeatedly delayed Chinese Democracy album by Guns N' Roses. Holland quipped, "You snooze, you lose. Axl ripped off my braids, so I ripped off his album title."[12][13]

The album's title comes from a lyric that appears in "Long Way Home".

This is the second and last new studio album to have the skull logo on their cover to date, excluding the Greatest Hits album. It later appeared on their 2012 single, Cruising California (Bumpin' in My Trunk).

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Dexter Holland [14].

No. Title Length
1. "Neocon" 1:06
2. "The Noose" 3:18
3. "Long Way Home" 2:23
4. "Hit That" 2:49
5. "Race Against Myself" 3:32
6. "(Can't Get My) Head Around You" 2:14
7. "The Worst Hangover Ever" 2:58
8. "Never Gonna Find Me" 2:39
9. "Lightning Rod" 3:20
10. "Spare Me the Details" 3:24
11. "Da Hui" 1:42
12. "When You're in Prison" 2:35
Total length: 32:00

Enhanced version[edit]

The Enhanced CD portion of the CD contains the following:

  • Da Hui Video
  • Da Hui Video (with Audio Commentary)
  • Demo Studio Tour
  • 4 wallpapers
  • 2 MP3 tracks:
MP3 tracks
No. Title Length
13. "The Kids Aren't Alright" (Island Style) 5:08
14. "When You're in Prison" (Instrumental) 2:34
Total length: 39:42

Excluded tracks[edit]

There was another song recorded for the album called "Pass Me By". The band felt that it was too heavy for the album, which is why it wasn't included on the disc.[15] It was for a time rumored to appear on The Offspring's next album Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace, but as of its release, the track has yet to surface.

Critical reception[edit]

So far, the album, like Conspiracy of One, has been given a score of 60 out of 100 from Metacritic based on "mixed or average reviews".[3]

Reviewers from sites such as Launch.com claimed Splinter was a welcome return to The Offspring's punk roots, citing songs such as "The Noose" and "Da Hui". The more mainstream songs, "Hit That" and "Spare Me the Details", were also praised.[16]

AllMusic's Johnny Loftus also praised punk songs such as "Long Way Home" and "Lightning Rod", and claimed second single "Head Around You" was the album's standout. Like many fans though, he criticized songs such as "The Worst Hangover Ever" and "When You're in Prison", calling them 'throwaways'.[1] PopMatters also praised "Head Around You", "Race Against Myself", and other heavier songs on the album. However, it also called "Worst Hangover Ever" 'idiotic' and again criticized "When You're In Prison" and "Neocon".

Another thing that was attacked was the album's short length, which was even shorter than Conspiracy of One. The review concluded that the album was "wasted potential", portraying it as merely average, in the same vein as many other critical reviews.[2]

Splinter was also heavily praised for its lyrical content, said to take a considerable step up from the band's previous material. "Lightning Rod" is often used as an example of this. However, the album's ending of "Da Hui", which some were unhappy with, and joke song "When You're in Prison", which does not fit with the general album, were criticized as "not being a satisfying end to an already short album."[17]

Charts and certifications[edit]


The Offspring[edit]

Additional musicians[edit]

  • Josh Freese – drums
  • Ronnie King – keyboards on "Hit That"
  • Jim Lindberg – backing vocals
  • Jack Grisham – backing vocals
  • Chris "X-13" Higgins – backing vocals
  • 2002 Reading Festival Crowd – crowd vocals on "Neocon"
  • Mark Moreno – DJ scratching on "The Worst Hangover Ever"
  • Phil Jordan – trumpet on "The Worst Hangover Ever"
  • Jason Powell – saxophone on "The Worst Hangover Ever"
  • Erich Marbach – trombone on "The Worst Hangover Ever"
  • Brendan O'Brien – piano on "Spare Me the Details"
  • Lauren Kinkade – backing vocals on "When You're in Prison"
  • Natalie Leggett, Mario De Leon, Eve Butler, Denyse Buffum, Matt Funes – violins on "When You're in Prison"
  • Josefina Vergara - concert master on "When You're in Prison"
  • Suzie Katayama - orchestration on "When You're in Prison"
  • Larry Corbett – cello on "When You're in Prison"
  • Gayle Levant – harp on "When You're in Prison"


  • Brendan O'Brien - producer, mixing
  • Billy Bowers - engineer
  • Nick DiDia - assistant engineer
  • Brian Humphrey - assistant engineer
  • Phil Martin - assistant engineer
  • Kevil Mills - assistant engineer
  • Jamie Sickora - assistant engineer
  • Karl Egsieker - assistant engineer
  • Bryan Cook - assistant engineer
  • Steve Masi - guitar technician
  • Eddy Schreyer - mastering
  • Bernie Grundman - mastering


  • Sean Evans - art direction
  • Justin Beope - CD Art Adaption
  • Sarkis Kaloustian - CD Art Adaption
  • Rupert Truman - photography
  • Storm Thorgerson - design
  • Peter Curzon - design
  • Darrell Lance Abbott - design


General references[edit]

  • Splinter (CD liner). The Offspring. Columbia Records. 2003. 


  1. ^ a b c d Loftus, Johnny. "Splinter - The Offspring". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-06-04. 
  2. ^ a b c Williams, Adam (2004-01-16). "The Offspring: Splinter". PopMatters. Retrieved 2012-10-23. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Critic Reviews for Splinter". Metacritic. Retrieved 2012-10-23. 
  4. ^ "The Offspring: Splinter". Artistdirect. Archived from the original on 2004-06-17. Retrieved 2012-06-04. 
  5. ^ [1][dead link]
  6. ^ Sinclair, Tom (2003-12-12). "Splinter Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2012-03-04. 
  7. ^ Hoard, Christian (2003-12-10). "Splinter : The Offspring : Review". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2008-06-18. Retrieved 2012-04-09. 
  8. ^ Beaujon, Andrew (2003-12-08). "The Offspring, 'Splinter' (Columbia); blink-182, 'blink-182' (Geffen)". Spin. Retrieved 2012-10-23. 
  9. ^ Gundersen, Edna (2003-12-08). "The Offspring, Splinter". USA Today. Retrieved 2013-01-20. 
  10. ^ RIAA Archived June 26, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. (type in "Offspring")
  11. ^ Joe D'Angelo (2003-12-17). "Ruben Debuts At #1 But Can't Match Clay's First-Week Sales - Music, Celebrity, Artist News". MTV. Retrieved 2012-01-12. 
  12. ^ "The Offspring History (Official Website)". The Offspring. Retrieved 2012-06-04. 
  13. ^ Henry Yates (November 19, 2008). "33 insane facts about Chinese Democracy". MusicRadar. Retrieved March 14, 2012. 
  14. ^ "BMI Entry". Repertoire.bmi.com. Retrieved 2012-06-04. 
  15. ^ Journal Entry by Dexter Holland, posted 18th August, 2006
  16. ^ "Splinter Review". Archived from the original on 2011-05-24. Retrieved 2011-05-24.  by Craig Rosen of Yahoo! Music, posted December 12, 2003
  17. ^ "Splinter is "too short" to be good". Archived from the original on 2007-06-15. Retrieved 2007-06-15.  posted in the Offspring Forums
  18. ^ "OLiS: sales for the period 1.12.2003 - 07.12.2003". OLiS. 
  19. ^ http://www.officialcharts.com/artist/29597/OFFSPRING/
  21. ^ "Brazilian album certifications – Offspring – Splinter" (in Portuguese). Associação Brasileira dos Produtores de Discos. 
  22. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Offspring – Splinter". Music Canada. 
  23. ^ "French album certifications – Offspring – Splinter" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. 
  24. ^ "Japanese album certifications – Offspring – Splinter" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan.  Select 2003年11月 on the drop-down menu
  25. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Offspring; 'Splinter')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. 
  26. ^ "British album certifications – Offspring – Splinter". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Splinter in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Silver in the field By Award. Click Search
  27. ^ "American album certifications – Offspring – Splinter". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH

External links[edit]