Label: Self-Released Release date: 20/08/10 Link: Spring Offensive Official Myspace To name your band after a German military advance in 1918 that has quite a coincidentally cute name somehow screams ‘university band’. I’m not wrong; two members currently study at St Catherine’s, Oxford. The music shows it too – weighing in at just over 13 1/3 minutes, this is music for the patient, those that can deal with the epic, the highs and lows and the general grandeur that has always been associated with this band. To quote ourselves from our introducing section in March, “The Spring Offensive are a bunch of guys from Oxford, who are hell bent on bringing a fresh angle to indie music.” This song is a new venture forward for the ambitious band that have previously released their intricate guitar based sound in 4 and a half minute bursts, and, by and large, it works. The constant drum rhythms are still there, as are Lucas Whitworth’s distinct vocals, but gone are the up tempo jams in place of space to breathe; this song ebbs and flows, ensuring that the listener can always follow and enjoy. It’s an evolving song; chants, choruses and drones grow into clever use of vocal samples (and at one point, a very effective use of a heart monitor) which in turn fade out and create room for the next passage that grows, allowing Whitworth’s lyrics to move into their next thought, speech and frame.
As for the concept (the song is based on the Kubler-Ross Grief Cycle), it definitely adds something. I’ll tell you now, I prefer to make up my mind about music knowing nothing about it, “The Author Is Dead” approach if you like literature, and so I listened to this without knowing that the song was about grief. I didn't instantly figure out the concept of the song but I could tell that it was a progression of emotion, somewhere near bereavement or grief. The band, as they wrote the song, have clearly kept in mind that there needs to be a payoff, and not an obvious one. Music is about the feel of it, the emotions the listener feels upon hearing it. It’s not about making something to dissect, to analyze and cut up. This single succeeds on both fronts, as you don't need to know the story behind it to appreciate it. Released as a free single today, this is definitely one to keep an eye on and download when it’s out. It’s not for everyone – it gets quite dangerously close to Ben Gibbard territory on several occasions, but catch it if you can. Love it or hate it, you won’t help but admire the composition. Download 'The First Of Many Dreams About Monsters Photobucket