Telling a single story throughout the course of an entire album is not easy - however, the Portland-based band Typhoon has been receiving critical acclaim for doing just that on their latest album, Offerings. An album five years in the making, it was described by bandleader Kyle Morton as “a record from the perspective of a mind losing its memory at precisely the same time the world is willfully forgetting its history.” It’s not hard to see why the reviews are so positive - the storytelling is as captivating and heartbreaking as anything the band has released thus far while retaining the band's grandiose musical spirit. It’s an album that demands to be listened to in full.
At their 9:30 Club stop, the seven-piece band perfectly replicated the massive soundscapes that they’re known for, bringing along strings, deafeningly loud guitars, and two drummers. One of the highlights of the show came near the end of “Wake,” when the band's massive wall of sound suddenly was silenced as Morton whispered the nonsensical words “asa nisi masa,” a reference to the Federico Fellini film 8 1/2. It wasn’t hard to get chills. As grave as the subject matter of Offerings could be, the band had a lot of fun on stage, Morton probably most of all. His passion for music showed in the way he leaned forward thrashing on his guitar and as he traded laughs with his bandmates.
The band’s lyrics have hit an emotional sweet spot with fans - even though some of their songs ordinarily don't consist of catchy melodies, people loudly belted out the words anyway. One person in the crowd yelled “YOU LET THE DEVIL IN YOUR HOME!”, a lyric from “The Honest Truth,” multiple times throughout the night during moments of silence. “It’s actually a bit scarier when it’s said directly to you,” Morton jokingly replied. They eventually played that song during the encore, much to the enjoyment of said fan. Adding to the enjoyment was the fact that the band played Offerings cut “Ariadne” live for the first time, which they said they'd continue to play on tour if the reception was positive. (It was.)
Typhoon has a penchant for larger-than-life sounds and stories, and with a band as musically and lyrically talented as theirs, it makes sense to keep swinging for the fences - they’ve hit it out of the park without fail so far.
Offerings is out now through Roll Call Records.
Opening for Typhoon was Minneapolis indie-rock trio Bad Bad Hats. Led by singer/guitarist Kerry Alexander, the band’s catchy power chords and endearingly awkward sense of humor (especially when both guitarists leaned back-to-back on each other and looked at the crowd with emotionless faces) were a big hit with the crowd. For those that look back fondly on 90s/early 2000s indie rock where guitars, not synths, were the star, look no further than this band. Their latest release is the 2015 album Psychic Reader via Afternoon Records and are currently at work on their sophomore album.