The fourth LP from Oregon rockers Typhoon begins with the lyric "Listen — of all the things that you are about to lose, this will be the most painful." After that, I think it’s safe to say that this isn’t going to be a cheery listen. But it is stirring and powerful, with band leader Kyle Morton dropping 2,300+ words ruminating on memory and loss over the subsequent seventy-odd minutes. Behind him the band conjure up instrumentals reminiscent of The National, Low and Cassadega-era Bright Eyes.
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- RCR117LGX / Limited edition, indies only gold coloured vinyl 2LP on Roll Call / House Arrest
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Stereogum pitched this one, disastrously, as “Frightened Rabbit teams up with Mogwai”, which might be one of the most terrifying propositions I’ve ever heard in my life. I’m assuming what they mean by it is that the warm, pastoral strands of the former meets the grandiose purpose of the latter, which is fine: just don’t ever actually put the bands together. Thanks. An hour long behemoth-to-be, ‘Offerings’ is Typhoon’s fourth record and shows them to be the master of cinematic persuasions, opening on spoken word before meeting dread-inducing strings, marching mantras, frostbitten drums and fanfare horns.
I haven’t heard a record begging to be big like this since Jon Mueller’s Death Blues, and while they’re not aesthetically similar (this one actually sounding like post-rock's answer to Conor Oberst), they both summon up the empty space they exist in as if it were the whole galaxy. This record constantly exchanges loud, frenzied dynamics for breathlessly sparse sections, exchanging noise and calamity for singer-songwriter introspection. At times this drags up a truly inventive band -- one managing to juggle all the disaster in their hands at once, moving between strums, distortion and unrelating forces until they all feel part of the same tapestry. At times, they bring in just that little bit too much -- like an unnecessary water sound effect, for instance -- that suggests they want to put anything that will fit onto their widescreen.
It’s a wild, windswept ride -- no post-rock record will do this much to you in the same amount of time, Typhoon writing compact songs within meandering compositions that billow away from one another at moments of genuine surprise. It may be over-arranged and over-complicated, at times, but ‘Offerings’ is a few different great albums happening at once.
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