The Heat Death of the Universe
is called such because what else could it be called? I mean, this is, like, cosmic
it, right? Time stops when this album starts, though I’ve always despised things (mostly, pieces of art, although other things too [although everything is art, right?]) that hype themselves up to be whatever they want you to think they are through means that aren't directly related to the art itself (e.g. album titles). Like, Heat Death of the Universe
. Woooahhhh. The universe? It’s going to fuc
. Or something, I think--it sounds big, is all. Off Minor’s 2003 “screamo” (eurgh) masterpiece is twenty-three minutes of worlds ending divided up into nine mini-apocalypses that are sometimes slow and sometimes fast, sometimes with and sometimes without vocals; it lives a full life and dies probably a million times throughout its length but is nice enough to condense it down to nine. Cosmic bullsh
it, right? Man, it dies like a MILLION times.
This is a sort of confusing album in the respect that any real
thing that can be said about it (“it sounds like jazz and punk!”? Really, does it?) is pretty much psychotic horseshi
t because this is one of those albums that probably shouldn’t succeed or work at all. It’s ridiculous; it’s also organic and all that (which is where the “million deaths” thing comes from, although a million might be pushing it.) So while I never trust sites like lyricsmode.com or whatever for this type of thing, they almost certainly got something right with “Good things go for those who wait too long to say / But who's to say that this is the end / I am / This time we have permanence / This time we are separated by an infinite distance.” See, I’m not only the only one talking about permanence and life and death! Still, it’s hard to shake the feeling that this type of album just completely fuc
ks with our brains and makes us think it’s about something when it’s really about something else. On that note, what is that cover? Is it intentionally sparse? Like, a life post-humanity--something like a Sheeler painting for the hardcore crowd? “Humanity sucks” or variants of it seem like obvious “screamo” (I can’t bring myself to unquote that term) fodder, but never like this
. “People who need people are the wretchedest in the world,” goes the oft-quoted “This Is a Hostage Situation,” but that’s underselling it. This album never makes its intentions obvious, because “what do you see in me?”, the next song asks.
I’m not sure that sentence was structured quite perfectly, but that’s sort of how Off Minor ask and not-really answer their own questions. Why is “who you are” not a function of “where you are?” Because the old you met the new you and held a sign that said “welcome back”. That’s the sort of thing that almost makes sense tonight and then makes no sense the evening after; same with some of the music (like, instruments and melodies and whatever) on here. Why does the album have those weird ostensively “jazzy” sections with, like, tight playing (weird!)? This is a screamo album, right? This review has already written itself into corners and circles. Of course it has. The album ends with a cover of Thelonious Monk’s “Off Minor”. Here comes the guitar man, walking down the street and playing his tune. And, oh sh
it, it’s the end of the world.