Take Offense have just released their sixth EP in ‘Tensions On High’ of their existence (since 2004) and it’s pretty darn cool! This hardcore/metal outfit from Southern California have an 80’s sound inspired by NYHC and other West Coast bands like Suicidal Tendencies (aka ‘How Will I Laugh Tomorrow…’ era).
This collection of five tunes from this five-piece rips along nicely with some tasty riffs and great beats. As it’s their sixth EP, some might suggest ‘you’ve got five tunes, plug away till you have an album’ but I’ve heard others quoted saying that EP’s are perfect – just right for most people’s attention span. There’s only two albums in their discography, whilst the remainder are demo’s splits and singles.
The first track Trust rips along with a hypnotic cool repeated chant of “against the wall” in the background to the lyrics “Who do you Trust when your backs against the wall”. The lyrics suit it with a good intro of piercing feedback building-up, that morphs into a solid drum beat that builds and blends in a flying-V guitar completing its spine. Tensions On High follows and seems a continuation of Trust but changes mid-way to something with more edge. All tunes on this EP seem sun drenched, reminiscent of the bands Californian home environment and this track is no different.
Unconditional is a little more laid back but still heavy and blitzes along. Ometeotl is next, brief at 51 seconds, and is an instrumental interlude of pretty ballad-like acoustic guitar noodling. Isn’t that unusual and out of place?” you ask? Yes but no but yes and… well there you go. It is what it is. Just Because You Believe is the final tune on ‘Tensions On High’ EP. At nearly five minutes long it’s the longest track here, and this allows the track to live within its own skin, meaning it has mellow noodling parts that build into intense flat out hardcore metal, and repeat. It’s still a lean track, not bloated, like some bad 70’s rock tunes of the same length, and gets you in.
Take Offense have toured before with D.R.I., Terror, Agnostic Front, Trapped Under ice, and Rotting Out. And soon they’re due to be supporting Madball, Turnstile, Shark Attack. In ‘Tensions On High’ its been produced it seems even with the same values, for example, like their heroes Agnostic Front album ‘Liberty And Justice’ and Warzone whereas it could’ve been better sound clarity of today. If that’s this reviewers’ only heavy critique it’s a factor but not the end.