06-04-12

Putting Off The Charts on the charts

Okay, here's the deal: Off The Charts is an awesome band from Dilbeek/Dildobeek/Chillbeek/... and they became good buddies of mine. They just now put out a new EP, completely DIY and stuff, and it has 3 new songs on it that take a huge step from the demo. I'm having the pleasure to listen to these songs right now so I'm able to do a review. Because I do that kinda stuff. I am good at listening to music.
You should buy the new EP from them for only 2 currency units. 3 songs for 2 coins is cheaper than, let's say, 3 songs for 3 coins. So buy it, it's good and it's cheap. (insert 'your mom' joke here)

So, let's do this in kinda real time. Play. First song. It's called "Final Master A - 01". I'm kidding, it has a different title but I don't know what it is. It's starts slow and dragging, with rung (minor?) chords and a (minor chord?) melody. It sounds sad. I'm becoming kinda sad. And then it becomes steady. Kim starts singing and it's great. Recording sounds bad-ass. Nicolas kicks in. He sounds like one of those Gainesville singers who drank too much whiskey and are now 40 and still drink too much whiskey. Only this guy isn't 40 years old. I now realise I've heard this song quite a few times in their live shows. Oh, it's speeding the fuck up. It's difficult to follow writing this. But the tempo change is something Off The Charts uses a lot so it's becoming a kind of signature thing to their songs I guess? I'm not sure. The little melodies in the transition are proof that they know what the hell they are doing. This isn't simple punk rock. I don't know if it's punk rock anymore. I think it is. But it's peculiar, in a good way.
Vocally, the dynamics between Kim and Nicolas are played out well, balanced. Then there's this instrumental break kind of thing, filled with blasting drums and a pounding bass guiding the riffage, including the famous contrast dynamic where you just can't avoid headbanging or airdrumming. This leads up to the final part, sounding like someone has some deep despair and needs to vent it. You can mosh/stomp to this part, I guess that's okay. It mellows down and with an off-strummed riff they introduce the outro (is it even possible to introduce an outroduction?), which is really powerful and probably the most memorable/catchy part of the song. They are singing "I WILL WAIT FOR YOU", and I guess that makes all the girls' panties wet as fuck.
I'll have to change my pants now.

Second song is the second song. I also don't know the title, but I'll find out soon enough. Another slow-paced intro. These guys love melody, and I love their melodies. They don't make me happy but ultimately they do make me happy because it's good. This is a steady song. I kinda want to make a comparison to other bands but I'm having a hard time pinpointing it. I guess they have a lot of influences, they take some of the gruffy punk rock, some new wave/indie hints, this and that of the pop punk/hardcore thing (the Title Fight, Basement, ... kind) and every once in a while it sounds like a Dillinger Four single played at 33 rpm. I hope that makes sense. This song is definitely more of a grower rather than an instant hit, but it's really interesting in terms of song structure and evolution. Off The Charts are taking their stuff seriously, and they're on a consistent path to finding their exact wanted sound. In my opinion they can still tweak it (but I guess any band in the world will always think they can do better, so that's that really), but I'm digging it already.
Fast part at the end, maybe time for a circle pit? I don't know, they should ask to do a circle pit at shows. After another batch of sincerely sung/screamed "Take me back"'s they break it down with dual guitar riffage and end in a mainstream as fuck WHOAAAAAAAOHOHOH chant. It's not really mainstream actually. I don't think the 'kids these days' would sing along. It's too hoarse for their fragile voices. But if you've been drinking and listening to punk rock for a while you can probably flawlessly sing along to it. Also, this song is almost 5 minutes long. Actual proof that this is not punk rock anymore. It's the sound of (OT)C, the sound which creates a new dimension. This is a new style of music. Although it's 5 minutes and that's a long time for a song, like I said, it's pretty interesting and it stays focused. It doesn't flatten or become redundant. It's pretty damn epic.

Now, the third song is called Imposed Future. I know this because that's what it says on the Facebook. So I guess this is their ultimate hit song. It starts out with a piercing riff just waiting to explode into what is commonly known as a song. Armin (I think?) kicks in with one of his signature guitarsolo/melody kind of things and you could slowmotion-mosh to it. It now sounds like if you want to play a video game and it's "loading ??%" and then suddenly the menu screen pops up and you hit play as fast as you can so you can start. I really hope I'm making some sense right now. This is a very powerful song once Jelle's bass part completes the picture and it gets going for real. Lots of catchy riffing, dynamic/contrastive vocals and powerful rhythms and the variations thereof. The middle part suddenly sounds like a straight-up old school hardcore break, with the hardcore beat pounding and a tough-ish "The anchor holding me down. We'll not let go.", reminding me of Verse or something of that ilk (not the best comparison but I can't think of anything else right now), and going into a raging stomp party where you can sing along and point fingers at the band (at their shows, obviously) and then dance your ass off. And suddenly it's over and that's it.

TOO LONG/DIDN'T READ: Great songs, great band, buy it, buy them beers.



It's funny how it takes me 2 days to come up with this amount of text on "the semantics of discourse-embedded tag question in English" but on the other hand I just have to listen to a few songs and I can write this bullshit in an hour or so. I wish English linguistics was more like punk rock music.

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