Typhoon – ‘Offerings’ (Roll Call Records) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Tim Bolitho-Jones   
Tuesday, 23 January 2018 04:00

Typhoon artworkYou could never accuse Typhoon of being short of ambition. ‘Offerings’ is the Portland-based band’s fourth album and it’s a big one. A 70-minute concept record about the impact of memory-loss, it’s a dense and overwhelming listen, full of elaborate musicianship and offbeat song-writing. It’s been painstakingly crafted and is clearly a huge labour of love for them, brimming over with ideas too numerous to mention. At times it’s beguiling, at others it can be frustrating, but taken as a single cohesive work of art, you can’t help but admire the level of effort that’s gone into creating it.

 

‘Offerings’ might be broken down into individual songs but this is a record that works best when considered as a single progressive-indie-rock opus. With eight musicians making up the ranks, it’d be easy for this to descend into an all-encompassing wall of noise where instruments jostle for space, but everything is perfectly textured. Horns, percussion, violins and choral arrangements sit alongside the typical bass-drums-guitar set up and everything gets a chance to contribute without showing off.

 

That being said, the most striking feature is undeniably frontman Kyle Morton’s vocal performance. His is a voice that simply aches sadness and he lends everything a sombre, reflective air. He could stand on-stage reading ‘The Cat In The Hat’ and make it sound absolutely heart-breaking. This gives ‘Offerings’ a deeply melancholic air and combined with the grandiose indie-rock backing him up, makes it a perfect album for an extended headphone session. If you like to spend winter wandering through fields, thinking bittersweet thoughts of lost friends and heartache past, this is going to be the perfect accompaniment.

 

While ‘Offerings’ is very impressive though, it would have been preferable if the scope of the project had been scaled back a bit. It’s a lush, beautiful album that sweeps you up from the first note and places you inside an isolated bubble of sadness, but spending over an hour in there can be exhausting. Closing track ‘Sleep’ for example is twice as long as it needs to be and there’s at least ten more minutes that could have been dropped from the album without undermining it. This a record that demands repeat listens and the sheer amount of effort needed to fully appreciate it can be exhausting, especially when each successive play leaves you reliving forgotten emotional traumas.

 

In other words, this is a record that both tests and rewards patience. There are no choruses or hooks to be found and instead, there’s a vast sonic landscape that’ll leave you feeling totally alone, but also sort of okay with that. This is music that thrives on the atmosphere it creates and aside from a few off-putting moments where Morton elongates words and accidentally brings to mind Father Jack saying “had enough of brick,” it does it exceptionally well. 

 

‘Offerings’ is out now. You can get your copy HERE.

 

Typhoon UK tour poster

 

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