PirateMTL.com’s Senior Music Editor Grace reviewed OFFSET’s newest album. Not satisfied with that, she later met-up with them in a forest, for a lively interview ”with a couple dudes getting shit done”, as she put it, The transcript of that interview will be posted separately.
Composed of four local West Islanders of Montreal, Offset is vocally led by Liem Morrel, with Tyler Addey-Jib on guitar, Julien Levesque on bass and Paulo Riccardo on drums, percussion, and…piano?
Yes?… No?… FUCK Yes!
These lovely lads carry a passion for mixing chaotic humor with hardcore music, all-the-while keeping that touch of class. and the musical goods to prove they’re not fucking around– excuse my French.
A piano may seem out-of-place in a jamspace filled with experimental noise, doomy riffs, and grindcore emanating through the walls, until you see how it’s worked.
Albeit younger than the usual suspects, it’s a breath of fresh air to see incredibly talented musicians who don’t strap on their big Rockstar-cocks and flaunt them. The touch of humor adds to the band’s care-free attitude (and certainly made the interview worthwhile). That sole ingredient of humor is almost lost among talented musicians nowadays, with most others taking themselves too goddamn seriously.
NOW ON TO THE MUSIC AND SHENANIGANS MY CHILDREN
This album gives us 5 tasty tracks to drool over. Discussed– and what I found interesting about the band–, are the personal accounts and perspectives of the artists on the album. While other kids their age preoccupy their time by killing their minds instead of feeding them, they’ve put together an album dealing with this, and more of life’s casualties with that signature sense of dark, twisted humor.
The first track we come moshing into is MASH THE LEMONS. The chaotic noise metal/hardcore punk mashup is done with seemingly effortless precision. The almost cultish aspect of the song, like it could be an anthem for the youth of today, and the generation before who were raised by the same mistakes, creates an aggressive outlash, albeit supported by great musical structure. It seems like a wall of utterly confused noise, but the rhythm doesn’t let it stray too far. Kind of like how the life and death of a passion, at that age, may give way to misanthropy, or blossom to something greater. I sense an influence of Trash Talk with more metal than punk at certain points.
SPRINKLES FOR MY DARLIN’ come in with thrash/black metal riffs dissipating into deranged grunge-punk disruption. Cruel vocals slash the guts of the guitar for a tasty mess of a build-up that trips together and back. Around the lyrics, it’s brutally metal-gore, which sends chills through your spine, while the jazzy feel graces the ears of the unsuspecting. The lyrics follow suit in a rap-talk, all pulled-off beautifully– and the sound quality is something to appreciate.
PREYING ON A VULNERABLE MIND SURRENDERED TO THE INEVITABLE POLLUTION OF CIRCUMSTANCE (PISSON), one thing I can say is that, despite the name being the longest, the song is the shortest of the album (1:11 against the longest, MOOSE CHILI, at 9:22). The hardcore punk returns in waves, becomes grind noise and brutally savage vocals, until the feedback pulls out a build-up of insanity.
MOOSE CHILI is where strong lyrical content combines beautifully with the soulful aggression and release of emotion. There’s an eerie, sludgy-noised intro, reminiscent of Eyehategod with much more filled in vocals. This song is a major dedication to the survival of the sticky youth years we seem to tumble through. MOOOSE CHILE then bleeds out with feedback and comes back with a Sabbath twist, with more of a jazz line than Sabbath goes for. It’s almost a reggae beat. The wonderful transitioning, which I’ve heard Mr. Bugle can account for, catches the listener off-guard for a tasty surprise. The contrast between the mayhem and the relaxed vibe of the jazzy beat somehow turns in to a breakdown, which turns in to a mesmerizing burn out.
Unfortunately the album ends at the 5th song, 57880. The main dish of the gourmet meal we call Offset comes to light; a melodic feedback of noise stirs up the intro with an almost dissonant background screaming. The pure noise morphs on and on into states of confusion. It’s like Eyehategod crossbred with the noise side of White Zombie until a final static-y note distorts until what seems like the background noise of a horror movie in a gothic chapel.
The last song left us with pure noise, melodic anarchy, and the brutal underlying use of voice playing under the instruments. It might be white noise to people with different music tastes but the diversity and blending of this album (and band) is definitely something to appreciate.
Album name is originally a bus time number 57880 from the 206 on Roger-Pilon but unfortunately the typo wanted it to be 57780 on the CD’s printed.
Words by Grace M Karam