Review: Does It Offend You, Yeah? @ Webster Hall

(Photo By: Dese’Rae L. Stage)

The name may confuse you until you think about it as spoken by a young man from Reading, Berkshire in the UK. Well, that’s exactly what you’ve got, yeah? Four dance-electro-rock kids (James Rushent, Dan Coop, Morgan Quaintance and Rob Bloomfield) who have made their mark on my side (the USA) as well as the other side of the pond. They have toured the NME Awards Tour, rubbed elbows with MTV2, landed a couple dates with Nine Inch Nails and are only in the middle of their UK/US tour which ends on October 29th.

So they’ve been around, yeah? If forming in 2006 is your idea of ‘been around.’ What is even a bit more astounding is their maturity of sound. They seem to jump from a tame Brit-rock to a psychotic Ratatat-style electro-dance-rock and everywhere in between without letting the skin melt off their face. Wait a tick, that seems to happen frequently – possibly one of the most exciting parts of this outfit is their eccentric art. Most often it is beyond description, but it seems to be generally representative of modern indie-rock groups on the edge: crude hand-drawn art, out of date technology, wildlife, and of course charmingly unexpected internet Photoshop pictures. Should you pay attention? Sure. Should you be offended? I bet they’d like you to be, but no.

By the time the group opened for Bloc Party at Webster Hall last Wednesday, the unexpected success had become expected. They certainly met expectations, though opening for a group like Bloc Party is no simple task. Even as they jumped around on stage, they were loud, tight and somehow continuously energetic. Bloc Party could have been a bit louder, especially for a headliner, but all the better for the four foreigners. They trounced around to ‘Battle Royale,’ ‘Dawn Of The Dead,’ and of course ‘Let’s Make Out’ and ‘Epic Last Song,’ among others. Unfortunately there was no surprise on-stage unity during Bloc Party’s ‘The Prayer,’ a song that DIOYY remixed and released in mid-January.

No need to feel offended if you missed that one, only if you heard it (ok, no more puns). Webster Hall is really an excellent venue. Though it receives such large acts, it still maintains an intimacy lost to even some small clubs (especially with the use of their starry backdrop).

Does It Offend You, Yeah? did not at all disappoint. As an opening band it can be a difficult balance to woo the crowd, while at the same time maintaining respect for the headliner, by playing within certain limits. There is little doubt about the success of their tour. If you like the album, you will love the tour and many groups simply cannot say that. Be sure to look for more from them on the weekly BTR playlists and as always, reading about it is good, but being about it is even better. Enjoy!

-Ike

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