Friday Night: OFF! At Warehouse Live


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OFF! is the seized new dawn, replete with skuzzy surf-meets-stoner-rock shadings a la bands like Fu Manchu. Hence, OFF! doesn't always attack straight and hard in minimal strokes. They draw out the blood of songs live, unloading curlicuing feedback, gaping silence, and harrowing aural screeches. They offer dynamism and patience, waiting between every three to four songs for Keith to embark on another conversation.

For instance, he memorialized Jeffery Lee Pierce, his former roommate and singer for the Gun Club, for whom he penned a mid-paced, slightly cowpunk-esque tune. As Morris tells it, Lee's roots-punk legacy influenced everyone from the Hickoids to Turbonegro, whose shirt he donned. Go out and get Fire of Love, he insisted, edging younger fans towards a lesson in punk heroes.

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During other asides, he chastised a fan for wanting an autograph, another for yelling at a young gal to get off the front of the stage, and still others for name-dropping Facebook, which he blamed for worsening driving conditions in California. Some fans soaked up the diatribes, others winked, and at least one person called him a punk rock version of a bitter old queen.

"Be cool, have fun, don't fuck with other people," seems to summarize his operator's manual.

In all, the band offered lurching, cutthroat, and downstroke 1979 punk, embodied in near-closer "Panic Attack." Disappointing to some, they unfurled no covers, nor did Morris sprinkle any Circle Jerks cuts in the mix. When fans yelled for such material, he told them to seek punk rock karaoke. Morris lacks that kind of nostalgia, or perhaps such songs would feel like rubbing salt in old wounds.


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Warehouse Live

813 St. Emanuel, Houston, TX

Category: Music

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Charles Lentz
Charles Lentz

How can you leave Retox out of this article?  Did you not get there in time to see them play? Cerebral Ballzy was a complete joke.  Bands that act like juvenile delinquents and throw beer everywhere aren't worth mentioning at all. Justin Pearson of Retox is as responsible and influential of a punk/hardcore figure as any of the guys in Off!, not to mention the rest of his band, Gabe Serbian/Michael Crain/Thor Dickey?  Come on man!!!

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