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Offonoff Clash Review

Album. Released 2008.  

BBC Review

Whichever way they turn, Offonoff are a group in touch with their inner ur.

Colin Buttimer 2008

With an album called Clash and an opening track titled Rabbit Punch, the odds are against Offonoff's music approximating anything like a gentle lullaby. Factor in that the trio is comprised of the extraordinarily powerful drummer Paal Nilssen-Love, Terrie Ex, guitarist with Dutch avant-rockers The Ex and Massimo Pupillo, bass player for Italian group Zu, and some form of spiky mayhem is inevitable.

A rabbit punch is a blow delivered to the neck or base of the skull which can result in paralysis or death. Offonoff's track by the same name begins with bass and guitar goading each other on almost good-naturedly. The music gradually escalates into a strummed fury, thrashed on every side by Nilssen-Love. Pupillo plays lead instrument alongside his co-conspirators: the trio attack on all fronts. At the seven minute mark, Terrie Ex scrapes the most angular of repetitive figures out of his guitar - imagine a blade scratching a sign into stone. There's a resultant pause in proceedings, scrabbling and drum stabs before the three men rally in angular, driving energy that's literally thrilling in its variegated power.

Calls is full of brooding space and sudden runs. There's a real sense of pleasure in the noisiness of the group's interplay. Kicking Stones is at times Neanderthal in its base determination to thrash out a one-note offensive, but it ends in squeaks, pitches and shudders which illustrate Offonoff's sense of dynamic range. Some power improv can seem unremitting, but it's the space and the sense of each player's intent listening that makes this album special. The music sometimes recalls the magisterial terror of Last Exit, at other times the haunted, structured expanses of Naked City's longform compositions. Whichever way they turn though, Offonoff are a group in touch with their inner ur.

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