Rad Releases ’11- Spring Offensive

December 19, 2011

As the countdown to the end of the year approaches we take a personal look back on our familiar names, features and musicians’ top releases of the past 12 months.

This year has stood out for incredible releases and even more so for uncovering exceptional talent; most of which discovered, promoted and featured right on this site.

Starting our week long feature is Oxford based 5 piece Spring Offensive.

Spring Offensive consists of Lucas Whitworth (Lead vocals), Matt Cooper (guitar and vocals), Theo Whitworth (guitar and vocals), Pelham Groom (drums and vocals) and Joe Charlett (bass). An emotive explosion of tender melodic dark math related pop.

Spring Offensive have had an incredible year to date and we’ve followed them along the way since their introducing feature and  interview back in April. You can find that feature streaming here- Spring Offensive Interview + Single Special.
We were extremely lucky to speak to all members for their personal round up of the year.
Best 5 releases of 2011:
Joe: Gloss Drop by Battles 
This was introduced to me on our German tour by Theo, and I fell in love with it from the first track. It’s ridiculously punchy and different and definitely one of a kind; I advise listening to it before undertaking some form of extreme sports….
Lucas: Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam by Ghostpoet. 
 A stunning record; understated, uplifting, and yet beautifully bleak in a very British way. It’s austerity hip-hop, and the perfect soundtrack to a winter of discontent. Every time I listen to it, it just carries me away into it’s own other world. Plus at one point he says “I need to check my elf”. So a Christmas album too.

Matt: Tamer Animals by Other Lives. 
 As submerging as music should be. Incredible melodies and ideas emerge from a strange backdrop of cathedral-like reverb. It is a brilliantly confusing album that I find really throws the listener around (gently, mind), as it shifts back and forth trying different styles. It does all come from very much the same quite eerie, warm and reverberant place though. Just love it. 

Pelham: Bon Iver by Bon Iver.
 Initially, I confess that I was unsure about this record. It sounded like he’d used his new found fame and fortune (otherwise known as Kanye-Bucks) to go out and buy a studio that contained every single instrument in the world, and then set about using all of them. After a few listens though, it dawned on me that the bastard was making it work!   
Unencumbered by traditional structure and arrangement but always secure enough in his song writing to avoid perverting convention for the sake of it, the album has some pretty out there moments (mainly thinking of the weapons grade 80s-athon at the end). Really though it’s his voice that can still carry you away, and it’s deployed rather more judiciously than on For Emma Forever Ago. In a year where not THAT many great records came out, this one shone for me. 
Theo: Helioscope by Vessels 
There’s always time for post-rock, but especially when there’s less of a post- in the equation. Vessels make instrumental music for people who don’t usually have the patience or the inclination to listen to ‘that sort of thing’, stripping away the ambient guffery to reveal a ball of pure energy, both furious and joyful in its intensity. Like 65daysofstatic, this is dynamic music, often demanding your full attention before giving you time to recollect your thoughts, and then socking you one again. Relaxing? No. Exhilarating? See for yourself.
Best Spring Offensive gig of 2011:
 There have been so many great gigs! We’ve been really lucky this year, with shows in churches, museums, squats, festivals, and a couple at the O2 Academy Oxford. If we had to pick one, we wouldn’t be able to. If we had to pick two, we’d be upset, but we’d probably go with one in front of a packed home-town tent at Truck Festival, and one in Basel, because it was the last night of a mindblowing European tour and it kicked off, 650 miles from Oxford.
Best gig Attended of 2011:
Blessing Force 4 at Modern Art Oxford, mostly because of an inspiring performance by Ute, in what was sadly their last ever local show. Having said that, Villagers were flawless every time we saw them.
Spring Offensive 2012 plans: 
We’ve got some releases planned for early 2012, followed by a big tour which is taking shape. It’s going to be mad-busy. And the only resolution you ever need is this: stay frosty.
Thank You Spring Offensive and we can only wish you our support and good luck for next year!
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