Off Minor
The Heat Death of the Universe


5.0
classic

Review

by Jared W. Dillon USER (118 Reviews)
May 3rd, 2007 | 1309 replies


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "Emotional" hardcore perfection.

In a blend of chaotic emotional intensity and precise beauty, Jamie Behar, Kevin Roche and Steve Roche find a realm of untouched hardcore catharsis. "The Heat Death of the Universe" Off Minor's first LP is a journey of heart felt monologues built around the difficulties of the respective band member's lives. On this album their troubles seem to deal with the issue of suicide and death, both in terms of inward struggles and dealing with the consequences of the choices those around them have made. With song titles like "Staring Down the Barrel of Limited Options," and lyrics like "This hand on this gun to my head is my own," the focus of the album is evident and, in my opinion, perfectly reflect.

Musically, there is no comparison to Off Minor in the hardcore scene. Their skill, originality, and vast appreciation of various genres helps their expressions reflect technical prowess as well as be an emotional outlet. The dynamic buildups and crescendos found on this album are prefect sonic reinterpretations of the bipolar nature of the overlying concept of the album. It is perhaps telling that Off Minor have never been as calm or as resolute in terms of their approach to creating music since the making of this album. Songs like "Monday Morning Quarterback" toss and turn through beautiful near jazz style arrangements into some of the most aggressive and abrasive hardcore ever released. The untraditional approach taken to their respective instruments helps Off Minor output the same type of cathartic release normally found in only hardcore and transpose it into fully instrumental pieces that don't mock the current post-rock trend of build-up and release, but instead dredge into elastics and personal realms of musical exploration. Off Minor's music is not able to be expressed as "epic" at any point of "The Heat Death Of the Universe" because it is always collapsing in on itself to represent something much more selfish and single minded; its band members own experiences.

The sound of this record is at times so personal it seems almost uncomfortable to listen to. Its lyrics could as easily have been taken straight from any of the members' personal journals or even their own conversations. This is an album completely removed from the pretension its genre embraces. This may be due to the fact that it isn't a clear cut deliberate explosion of sound, but instead it has a dominating reliance on clean tones and silence. The method could be traced back to the previous member's band Saetia, but obviously the members in Off Minor have taken time to develop beyond the teenage angst of that group.

"The Heat Death of the Universe" should be considered one of the most ample examples of 21st century music. With its heart-on-the-sleeve attitude and obvious appreciation of numerous subgenres, this album clearly represents how music has evolved, evoking the aggressive nature of '80s hardcore, the personal awareness of the '90s, and finally adopting the new method of beauty and chaos that is currently defining the '00s music scene. Off Minor is certainly a derivative of the things around them, but due to their members' appreciation and originality, they've been able to create a perfect emotional reflection of their feelings. And that is all that this album needs to succeed.



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user ratings (532)
Chart.
4.4
superb
other reviews of this album
zach (5)
But Monday morning quarterbacks always focus on the bad...

Alex Robertson STAFF (5)
...

HSThomas (4.5)
A screamo album that is not guilty of "buttfucking complicity."...

Sam Feldman's Rating (5)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
May 3rd 2007


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I used/analyzed the lyrics from this record in a school paper recently. Amazing album.

slep
May 3rd 2007


1604 Comments


Yeah I really want this. Great review.

Intransit
May 4th 2007


2797 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I can't find this, but I guess I should probably check it out if you think that it is better than Problematic Courtship.

HotSalvation
May 4th 2007


258 Comments


ooo jazzzcore

AlienEater
May 4th 2007


716 Comments


I want

Slaapkamers
May 4th 2007


596 Comments


This is better than Innominate.

The Jungler
May 4th 2007


4827 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This sounds pretty cool. Maybe I'll check it out, especially if it is as good as you say.

711
May 5th 2007


1341 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Im going to rape soulseek for this.
Great review.

Abaddon2005
May 5th 2007


684 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This was the first emo record I got, and a pretty extreme place to start. It's been growing on me recently though.

londoncalling457
May 5th 2007


2603 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'll have to check this out.

SantaDuJuan
May 6th 2007


9 Comments


Superb album, one of my most listened to albums I have.

whiteminority
May 9th 2007


74 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album is absolutely amazing. I love it.

"The sound of this record is at times so personal it seems almost uncomfortable to listen to. Its lyrics could as easily have been taken straight from any of the members' personal journals or even their own conversations."

I never thought of it like this but it automatically makes sense.

Intransit
June 2nd 2007


2797 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good album. I still think this band is a bit overrated though, although I feel similarly about Saetia.

Slaapkamers
June 2nd 2007


596 Comments


Hot Cross are way better.

PaperCities
June 2nd 2007


199 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Not really.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
June 2nd 2007


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

He was making fun of the fact that Instransit is gay and thinks Hot Cross is better than Off Minor and Saetia.
Saetia owns them both but w/e.

PaperCities
June 2nd 2007


199 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ah, I see.
Yeah, I pretty much agree wtih you there.

Intransit
June 2nd 2007


2797 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Saetia is disturbingly overrated. They have some amazing songs, and some just blah songs. I can only name a handful of Hot Cross songs I dislike, and at least 10 Saetia songs that I don't care for.

It doesn't matter though, because Hot Cross has been around the longest, and has made an album that a lot of people consider classic. Something that those two bands really haven't.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
June 2nd 2007


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Saetia pretty much created an entire new wave of emo, and Hot Cross pretty much used that same type of sound for their first two albums + fancy guitar work. Saetia was a perfection, and considering the only thing you have is the discog (which does include all their songs, but bear with me), you cant say they didnt have a classic album, as discographys will always have some weaker tunes. Its all about the fact that half of A Retrospective kills almost any song Hot Cross has recorded. This album also kills anything Hot Cross have recorded, only because Hot Cross cant figure out how to vary their shit enough, and didn't make their most promising effort (Fair Trades) into a full album.

PaperCities
June 2nd 2007


199 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Iluvatar basically said it.



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