Showing posts with label typhoon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label typhoon. Show all posts

Thursday, January 18, 2018

video review: 'offerings' by typhoon

So I'm not making any fans with this review... but then again, I said that right at the very beginning, I'm not surprised here.

Right, so next up is BØRNS, and that'll be coming tomorrow... then probably some quick Ron Gallo as I start work on the next top ten, so stay tuned!

album review: 'offerings' by typhoon

Oh, I'm not going to make any fans with this review. 

And part of this starts with an observation about the increased commercialization of indie rock, because there's really two distinct schools of it nowadays. You have the roughscrabble upstarts where if they get any crossover appeal it comes by fluke, where the textures or vocals or presentation or content might be offkilter or abrasive, but there's something about it all that sticks, usually in the fine details of great compositions or smart writing or just a damn solid understand of their strengths.

And on the flip side you have the indie groups that are flagged as 'indie' because they're just quirky enough to not fit mainstream pop or rock but safe enough to play for your average gentrified afternoon beer-run and picnic in the park. You know the groups, the ones that a decade ago would be called adult alternative and will be soundtracking comfortable middle-brow sitcoms and commercials for a steady paycheque - and that's not always a bad thing, for the record. Hell, I'd probably put The National in this category, and they're a genuinely terrific band even despite that last record - but I always get worried when I start hearing about groups in this vein branded as 'experimental' or 'progressive', because more often than not they're labels used for cheap marketing to disguise pretentiousness or a lack of cohesion while never being truly challenging. And even then, it can still work - look at Elbow, even though I'd argue they're more just straight progressive rock - but on the flip side you get acts like alt-J, and the group we're discussing today, Typhoon. They broke out in the very early 2010s and I can emphatically say I'm not a fan, mostly because they have the sound of a profoundly boring and stuffy group that tried to substitute wonky song structures for depth and experimentation. Some critics tried to compare them to Arcade Fire for their massive lineup - they have a horns and strings section - but it holds shockingly little water to me, mostly because even at Arcade Fire's most pretentious and least earnest they could still write a decent hook or had some interesting production. With Typhoon it always felt way too clean and sanitized, with the content on records like White Lighter trying to bring an edge but with no clear idea how to do so in production or composition - out of nowhere tempo shifts and transitions don't always make you progressive; without a foundation, you're just obtuse.

So yeah, not a fan, but apparently their newest record was their most ominous and sonically demanding, so either someone in the band decided to grow some testicles or a spine and they had somehow managed to stick the landing on this fourteen track, seventy minute album, or it was going to be the biggest mess they ever made. So, what did we get?