Tuesday 29 December 2015

Off Minor

I was trying to think of bands that I could not go into 2016 without having on the blog, and though there are many, many, many bands that could fit the bill, I had to settle on one. And Off Minor just seemed fitting, a band I've been meaning to do since Day 1, and an absolute essential for anyone into the screamier side of things on this blog. Not to mention, who can turn down the enticing (albeit stupid and simplified) description of "jazz skramz"? Nobody, that's right.

However much Off Minor stand as their own band, it's inevitable that the band that spawned them must be mentioned. As Saetia began to come to an end in 1999 (though officially broke up in 2000), three of its members had begun rehearsing as a new band. These three were Jamie Behar (guitar in Saetia, guitar/vocals in Off Minor), Steve Roche (bass in Saetia, drums/vocals in Off Minor) , and Matt Smith (bass at Saetia's last performance as well as in Off Minor). After Saetia ended, Off Minor took off as their main project. Smith only lasted for a short while before joining Hot Cross as their bassist, the band that also formed upon the demise of Saetia that included Billy Werner on vocals and Greg Drudy on drums. In addition to Behar, those were the only other two members of Saetia to last throughout its entire existence.

With their three-piece solidified, they proceeded to release some of the best music of their decade. From right out of the gate, their first song on their first release, "Problematic Courtship" establishes them as a force to be reckoned with, and only continued to prove that. From the rest of the songs on that EP, to their next handful of splits, all throughout three full-lengths, Off Minor made themselves known as one of the best emo/screamo/hardcore bands ever to exist. They perfected irregular timings, off-kilter rhythms, technically intricate clean passages, and then exploding into an all-out catharsis of distortion and alternating screams. This is some of the most tight and impressive musicianship that can still be referred to as "chaotic". And of course, the best kind of bands are always the paradoxical ones.

Off Minor have been inactive since 2008, though their legacy is still going strong. They've been insanely influential, and it's almost guaranteed that any "screamo" band going strong today is a massive fan of them. They put out some amazing music that I can't help but be in awe of, and I'm positive a lot of people share in that sentiment. Enjoy your New Years, and I'll see you in 2016.

1. Off Minor - Problematic Courtship
2. Off Minor - My Recovery
3. Off Minor - Farewell Ne'er Do Well
4. Off Minor - Willow Weep For Me
5. Off Minor - Remainder
6. Off Minor - Perfect Strangers
7. I Am The Resurrection - Gauges
8. I Am The Resurrection - Spliced Film Smiles
9. I Am The Resurrection - This New Broom Sweeps Clean
10. I Am The Resurrection - Short, Fast, And Oh So Stylish
11. I Am The Resurrection - Came Home Pushed Full Of Pins
12. I Am The Resurrection - The New Apostles
13. I Am The Resurrection - The Fall And Rise Of Cameron Hodge

1. Problematic Courtship
2. My Recovery
3. Farewell Ne'er Do Well
4. Willow Weep For Me
5. Remainder
6. Perfect Strangers
7. Problematic Courtship [Live]
8. Farewell Ne'er Do Well [Live]
9. Perfect Strangers [Live]
10. A Transient [Live]

Note: The first 6 songs also appear on the split with I Am The Resurrection. This album is often sometimes just self-titled, and the exact years of release between this and the split is a little unclear, since every source seems to cite something different. Either way, they were released between 2000 and 2002, not sure which came first but either way this is some of Off Minor's best stuff.

1. The Heat Death of the Universe
2. This Is A Hostage Situation
3. It's A Beauty
4. Punch for Punch
5. The Transient
6. Staring Down The Barrel of Limited Options
7. Spartan
8. Monday Morning Quarterbacks
9. Off Minor

1. Cadaveric
2. Killed For Less
3. Inadequate In Absence Of You
4. Demolition Heuristic
5. In SL
6. Devil Ether
7. Allele
8. Family Circus
9. Staring Down The Barrel Of Limited Options

1. Off Minor - In SL
2. Off Minor - My Father's Dreams
3. St. Alban's Kids - Dissthentic Penetration
4. St. Alban's Kids - When We Are Just Days Away From Illiteracy

1. Off Minor - Some Clown
2. My Disco - Troubled Receiver

1. Off Minor - Abattoir
2. Ampere - Conquest Success

1. Off Minor - Some Clown
2. Off Minor - Abbatoir
3. Off Minor - Everything Explicit
4. Killie - 体脂肪と戦う
5. Killie - 脳死が俺の側に

1. Neologist
2. Some Blood
3. Everything Explicit
4. To An Ex
5. No Conversationalist I
6. Practice Absence

Saturday 19 December 2015

Best Of 2015

As promised, here's the list of my 50 favourite albums of 2015. Despite the title, these aren't really an objective "best", but a purely personal list of albums I enjoyed this year. However, some of them are pretty indisputable "bests" (see: #2). Regardless, I hope you enjoy, and give some a try if you haven't heard them. I didn't include links here because some of them are a copyright claim waiting to happen, though a good chunk of them do appear on the blog already. Enjoy, and please feel free to share your favourites of the year, I'm really curious to know. 

Honourable Mentions:

Petal - Shame
Harm's Way - Rust
Fetty Wap - Fetty Wap
Spraynard - Mable
Lana Del Rey - Honeymoon


Wilco - Star Wars


Envy - Atheist's Cornea


Sun Kil Moon - Universal Themes


The Armed - Untitled


Sorority Noise - Joy, Departed


Foxing - Dealer


Desaparecidos - Payola




Black Breath - Slaves Beyond Death


Earl Sweatshirt - I Don't Like Shit, I Don't Go Outside


mewithoutYou - Pale Horses


Chvrches - Every Open Eye


Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress


Night Birds - Mutiny At Muscle Beach


Self Defense Family - Heaven is Earth


Beach Slang - The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us


The World is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die - Harmlessness


Shizune - Le Voyageur Imprudent


Beach House - Depression Cherry


Blacklisted - When People Grow, People Go


Waxahatchee - Ivy Tripp


Cult Leader - Lightless Walk


Death Grips - The Powers That B


Kurt Vile - B'lieve I'm Goin' Down


Frank Turner - Positive Songs For Negative People


Jeff Rosenstock - We Cool?


the Mountain Goats - Beat The Champ


The Weeknd - Beauty Behind The Madness


Vince Staples - Summertime '06


Hop Along - Painted Shut


Loma Prieta - Self Portrait


The Tallest Man On Earth - Dark Bird Is Home


Florence + The Machine - How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful


The Saddest Landscape - Darkness Forgives


Title Fight - Hyperview


Napalm Death - Apex Predator -- Easy Meat


Viet Cong - Viet Cong


Grimes - Art Angels


The Front Bottoms - Back On Top


Björk - Vulnicura


Rae Sremmurd - SremmLife


Joanna Newsom - Divers


Drake - If You're Reading This It's Too Late


Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit


Jamie xx - In Colour


Deafheaven - New Bermuda


Sleater-Kinney - No Cities To Love


Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell


Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp A Butterfly


Father John Misty - I Love You, Honeybear