Typhoon offers up a sad album for the sake of being sad.Roll Call Records, 2018
5.8 / 10
Bands the size of Typhoon (eight members) are always going to strive for an epic sound. Think vintage Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s or The Decemberists. They can’t help but realize their grandiose desires. This doesn’t always make a good album for listeners as some visions feel somewhat forced and come off as pretentious. I’ve always been a fan of Portland, Oregon’s Typhoon, but with Offerings, I’m struggling to like what they’re offering. No doubt it’s another solid display of songcraft from the band. Frontman Kyle Morton’s voice remains as compelling as always. However, the album’s narrative about a fictional man who loses his memory doesn’t make for a memorable album.
While it’s undoubtedly a painful subject, and one that may be close to home with many listeners, who have loved ones struggling with Alzheimer’s, it never clicks as anything meaningful or therapeutic. Rather, it’s just pain on top of pain with no reason to even care about the guy suffering. There is no real backstory, at least none that I gathered in the album’s 70-minute runtime. We get the gist of the disease’s cruelty with our protagonist shitting the bed, failing to recognize his wife, feeling as though his life is a constant test that he can’t pass. However, we don’t get any idea of this man’s past. Was he a good man? I don’t know; we don’t know anything about him. So why should we care? That doesn’t stop Morton from delivering some absolutely great lines like when detailing the birthday party of the album’s protagonist on “Empiricist”.
One day your children find you, locked in the bathroom, staring in horror at the reflection of your face. You say you’re sorry to the guests at your party. But you can’t help wonder, who is this person you celebrate? And so the light fades. It’s still your birthday. Blow out your past lives like they’re candles on the cake.
Still, there aren’t enough moments like this to leave a lasting impression or justify the album’s excruciating, neverending length.