A band I’ve always had an interesting relationship with.
Interesting in that I have yet to come across a musical emission from them that I do not like. Be it their debut on Nemesis Records or what followed and catapulted them to become one of the biggest bands out of the realm of oozing ah-ing melodic punk rock Californian bands. The fact that their breakthrough happened when it was a tough time for any hardcore punk warrior, i.e. #the year punkdied made it a bit more complicated for a teenage version of myself to really get behind them. I never subscribed to the concept behind the notion of having guilty pleasures, but seeing local jocks showing up to “our” shows in Offspring and No FX gear was not a pleasant sight.
Either way, The Offspring’s Smash album is one solid melange of hits that has stood the test of time. I revisited it recently during an extended run and it instantly became apparent that while Offspring are not exactly known for experimenting a whole lot, they have an idiosyncratic sound that works on many levels.
The fact that Offspring singer and lyricist Dexter Holland not only rested on his laurels as an MTV icon but pursued a PHD in and eventually started his own hot sauce company only added to the appeal.
Late 2018 saw The Offspring descent on terra australis to headline the Good Things festivals in all major Australian cities to celebrate “Smash” in its entirety. Needless to say that each show was a fulminant hit fest that saw the band belt out their hits in fine form.
Now, rest assured that I was weary as I was worried that it could be a half-assed attempt of a novelty sauce that is legitimized by celebrity endorsement, yet the reality could not be further from that: Turns out that Dexter has spent a large number of years almost scientifically researching and perfecting his own blend of peppers and spices – research the culminated in one delicious range of hot sauces, whose three pepper combination ( the triumvirate of Habanero, Jalapeño and Red Japanese Chili Peppers) give it depth and versatility that works with literally anything.
Gringo Bandito reminds me of the core heat of Sriracha crossed with a reduced version of Tabasco, one of my old faithfuls as it is hot but not just hot for novelty hotness’ sake. The smell alone is an experience, reminiscent of the tropics of Mexico with dominant habanero notes.
The hotness is not so much on the nose but subtle: It’s well calibrated, not overpowering and locked in at a level that would please both the occasional dabbler in hot sauce as well as the hardcore aficionado.
Needless to say that the packaging is an exercise in detailed labelling with an eye-catching twist of incorporating the California/Mexico flag colour schemes.
In essence, Gringo Bandito offers a fun, savoury flavourful and tantalizing hot sauce range and with that is a natural extension of what The Offspring epitomizes as a band.
Lead photo by T, others provided