Spring Offensive
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Spring Offensive

Oxford, England, United Kingdom | SELF

Oxford, England, United Kingdom | SELF
Band Alternative Rock

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This band has not uploaded any videos

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Press


"N/A"

"A twisting behemoth of a track"
NME

"Bewitching"
Time Out

"Automatically brilliant"
Drowned In Sound

“Dark, edgy and downright alluring"
Artrocker

"Dripping in beauty"
This Is Fake DIY

"Heartfelt, direct, emotional and gorgeous."
BBC 6 Music

"Tip of the week"
Huw Stephens, BBC Radio 1 - Various


"N/A"

"A twisting behemoth of a track"
NME

"Bewitching"
Time Out

"Automatically brilliant"
Drowned In Sound

“Dark, edgy and downright alluring"
Artrocker

"Dripping in beauty"
This Is Fake DIY

"Heartfelt, direct, emotional and gorgeous."
BBC 6 Music

"Tip of the week"
Huw Stephens, BBC Radio 1 - Various


"Sourmash live review 29-07-2011"

I witnessed something rather special tonight in the shape of Oxford’s own ‘Spring Offensive’. Us bloggers always bang on about the next big thing and undiscovered gems, but to say that this band was spine tingling is an understatement.

What was one of the most emotionally charged gigs I have been to in a long while, it amazed me the many hidden depths that were on display this evening. I can only describe it as intelligent post-hardcore with math rock sensibilities, but do you know what, none of that matters. Creating such a unique sound is what sets Spring Offensive apart from the many bands that are bestowed upon us right now.

They played tracks from their recent EP, ‘Pull Us Apart’, but tonight was about their epic new single ‘The First of Many Dreams About Monsters’, which clocks in at around an amazing 14mins. It not only was a brave move but one of the most ambitious and epic tracks I have experienced in such a long time. This won’t be the last time I will write about this single either, as I will give it a proper review very soon!

The little I talk about the other bands that played tonight, the better. As I had the misfortune of catching ‘Starman’ and that folks is as much of a mention this band are getting on this blog. With a mixed crowd too due to a Sky TV crew on the premises, Spring Offensive seem to take all that in good humour. Speaking to the band afterwards, who by the way are very humble and come across extremely grateful, were very pleased with how the gig went. ‘The best performance of their new single’ was witnessed by a small few, but as many of you know, when a gig is as special as tonight was, it’s a memory that will cement itself into a musical history and will never be forgotten. - Sourmash music


"The Live List for Lexington 11-04-2011"

Industrious quintet Spring Offensive have accomplished a great deal over the past year, with support slots for The Go-Team and Jeniferever, self-releases in the UK and a re-release of their debut EP through Burning Building Recordings in the US. There has been a great deal of support for the band including radio play from Huw Stephens on Radio 1 and numerous plays on 6Music, they have also had fantastic press from the likes of Drowned In Sound, Artrocker, Time Out, This Is Fake DIY and NME, the latter featuring them as one of their Daily Downloads. - The Live List


"Band of the day"

Is it still spring? Has summer started yet? Judging by all the sunny frolicking over the weekend it kinda seems like summer, but it’s not, is it? I should probably google it and find out. Instead though I thought I’d just waffle on a bit to fill some space. Don’t know why I need to fill up space, it’s not like I’m getting paid by the word for this… but hey, I like to make the effort.

As usual all that preamble was just me trying to crowbar in a rather poor tenuous link. Today I would like to introduce y’all to Spring Offensive. (I know, I’m sorry)

I havent seen the band live yet so I’m not 100% sure if the horse is in the band or not. They are however playing at The Lexington later this evening so I’ll be popping down to check them out. I’d have thought the horse would have a real probably getting up the stairs to the venue so I think on that level I may be a bit disappointed. On a musical note though I’m sure I wont be. The band release a brand new single this week

Love to know what y’all think to that! Apparently the single comes packaged in the form of a black and white booklet, complete with colouring in pencils so you can customize it yourself. I kinda like that, I quite like to do that with more things, like er, Grazia, or porno mags. Hours of fun.

Anyway if ya liking what you’ve heard I’ll leave you with this rather nifty video. It’s in colour and is filmed on my favorite street in Oxford. Seriously, it is. - My Band Is Better Than Your Band


"Huw Stephens"

BBC Introducing Radio 1 tip of the week - Radio 1


"Bearded Guide to Oxford"

Spring Offensive have been making waves of late with their brand of intelligent lyrics, angular sound and intricate riffs. Their debut mini-album (self-released last March) contained tales of mathematicians gone mad and relationships vitriolically cast aside, and album highlight ‘Every Coin’ sees frontman Lucas Whitworth tell a harrowing story of a man force-fed the contents of his wallet supported by a powerful musical crescendo. They also released a free single in the summer, ‘The First of Many Dreams About Monsters’; it’s a 14 minute, five part epic based on the five stages of grief. It’s understandably, er, heavy but wonderful. 2011 will see them continue to release fantastic music in an innovative fashion: Valentine’s Day heralded a pay-what-you-like acoustic EP. They’ve been compared to - sadly now-defunct - progressive Oxford outfit Youthmovies but really a more apt comparison would be Danish math-pop group Mimas, who are also worth a listen. - Bearded


"Spring Offensive single launch review 07-04-2011"

Then, after a long wait, comes the main event; Spring Offensive. They open with the searching first track from Between Me and You, ‘Bail Out’, which is both gentle and full of poignancy, as it’s guided along by Matt Cooper’s haunting piano line. They move through the two studio tracks from their latest single – ‘A Stutter And A Start’ and ‘The Well’ – which the tightly packed crowd receive happily, onto the track ‘To Burn or Build With’ which featured as a session on BBC Introducing In Oxford, last week.
Of course, the ever popular ‘The Cable Routine’ and the song the brought them attention from so many, ‘A Let Down’, get more of a reaction from the crowd but this shouldn’t be taken to demean the new material; it just hasn’t truly bedded down in the hearts of Oxford indie scene yet. They finish with last year’s ‘Every Coin’ which possesses a drum beat that nearly finished off the exhausted Pelham Groom, but the effort on the band’s part is clearly worth it from the huge smiles all around, and the frantic cheers for an encore, which sadly the curfew forbids.
Tonight really showed the diversity, and creativity of many of the Oxford bands gracing stages all over this city, and the entire country at the moment. Every single band that performed tonight deserves your love and fandom, even if Spring Offensive did steal the show a bit. - Oxford Music Blog


"Line Of Best Fit: Pull us Apart review"

5-piece Oxford band Spring Offensive are keen to distance themselves from comparisons with Radiohead. Their eponymous debut ep released last year started the ball rolling, but special features on Radio 1 and BBC 6Music, ceaseless touring with a growing reputation for intense live shows, a string of self-releases and a city with a musical ‘scene’ based more on the quality of bands like Foals and Stornoway than any shared musical identity, have all added interest … people are starting to talk! Unfortunately, the Radiohead bugbear probably taints every band within a 50-mile-radius of Oxford, and ironically, Spring Offensive featured on BBC Radio Oxford’s charity record Round the Bends, a tribute to “you-know-who”, released earlier this year. So are the comparisons with Oxford’s finest wide of the mark?

Well, ‘yes’ and ‘no’, on the basis of Pull Us Apart, the band’s neat mini-album, 7 songs centred around personal obsession with an almost unrelentingly bleak mood running throughout. That said, if you can deal with the gloom, there’s certainly a lot to admire on this album. I would call the compositions ‘thoughtfully-explosive’, musicianship often playing to the strength of the songs rather than hammering them into submission. Sure, there’s blasting guitar histrionics of the quiet-loud sound which Radiohead pioneered on The Bends, but Spring Offensive songs are often accompanied with clever lyrical twists which hint at a lot more … if only they could lighten up a little, for an old-timer’s sake? One review I read compared their lyrics to those of Ian Curtis of Joy Division, but the songs here relate dark tales of gritty reality rather than anything ethereal. Pull Us Apart is certainly no ‘Love will tear us apart’, imagine being stuck in a dark place on a Saturday night, probably somewhere you shouldn’t, 2 strangers in front of you telling blood-curdling stories that just can’t be true … can they? There you have it.

Opener ‘Abacus Rex’, starts innocently enough, with a riff which could easily pass for Robert Fripp and King Crimson, but rapidly cascades into Radiohead-like intensity with distorted guitars and drum blasts. However, the real curiosity is the song’s lyric, the obsessive thoughts of mathematician AlanTuring, caving in under the pressure to crack the enigma code before his suicide. Very odd indeed, especially as the band deliver the song to its desperate end by dropping the volume and tempo for dramatic effect, brave and original, an opening gambit that marks out the territory for the remainder of ‘Pull us apart’. ‘Every Coin’ is the story of a mugging victim forced to eat the entire contents of his wallet. Another strange and initially disturbing topic, but singer Lucas Whitworth relishes a turn of phrase, and it seems the protagonist wants to punish the victim because of capitalism rather than anything personal. Again, the band again crank things up to crescendo at the end … but did he manage to get all the coins down …?

‘Anything Other Than This’ is a bit too close to Coldplay for comfort… The music soars up and down, a clever metaphor for the band’s own ‘ups’ and ‘downs’ (“Just think of all we could have done in the hours that we lost … so we’ve already lost the plot but now we’re losing our way”). ‘I Found Myself Smiling’ recounts another dark tale of murder and intrigue, the jilted lover ranting “if you want to join your lover, you’d better slide into the river like the rat that you are.” Charmed, I’m sure. ‘Little Evening’ has a tender thoughtful soul, which belies its bittersweet memory (”I hope that isn’t all that is left, a sorry little evening for the stony road ahead”), but the songs apparent harmlessness is played out curiously with real menace and static crackles from the band … what’s going on here, I wonder? ‘Slow Division’ seems like the dark riposte which Sting’s ‘Message in a Bottle’ has been crying out for all these years. But said bottle is from a sinking ship, a suicide note from somebody who doesn’t want to leave. And just when you thought things couldn’t get any more depressing, up pops ‘The cable routine’, serial self-harmer getting his kicks out of preparing for suicide each night, standing on the balcony with a cable at his side … time for some high-dosage prozac methinks.

Flippancy aside, you’ll have to wait a bit longer for the full-length debut from Spring Offensive, which on the strength of Pull As Apart must surely follow. Lucas Whitworth and band are keen to engage your brain before they blast you with more conventional rock intensity. Dark edgy lyrics which hook you in and music that cleverly delivers the song to your ears … this album repays further listens as Spring Offensive take a step beyond the Radiohead comparisons and signal they’re probably in it for the long haul … just don’t hold your breath expecting an album of light fluffy pop songs. - Line Of Best Fit


"Artrocker guide to 2011"

Not content with touring relentlessly and releasing a 13-minute single this year, Oxford band SPRING OFFENSIVE are now looking capable of winning over just about everyone, thanks to their jagged rhythms and memorable melodies. Dark, edgy and downright alluring. - Artrocker


"Time Out guide"

Sprightly and occasionally bewitching indie-folk of the warmly chiming variety - Time Out


"Daily Download"

Who fancies a 14-minute long track inspired by the cycle of grief? Wait, come back, it's better than it sounds. Oxford's math/post-rock brainiacs Spring Offensive have written a one-track concept record inspired by psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross' 'On Death And Dying' and structured it around the various states following loss: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. It's called 'Dreams About Monsters' and it's a twisting behemoth of a track. - NME.com


"Oxfordbands.com Favourite Records of 2009"

Spring Offensive: EP
Everyone’s favourite band at the moment, but you heard it here first. Five lads from a rather good South Oxon school, playing highly inventive angular rock- where have we heard that before? - Oxfordbands.com


"Winter Warmer: The Jericho Tavern, 20/12/2009"

The best act of the day was undoubtedly Spring Offensive. Perfectly crafted power pop/rock songs, delivered with aplomb and character. Fresh out of the studio, these guys are definitely ones to watch in the coming months, and an assault on the charts and wider public would seem inevitable. Dominating the stage with their 9ft tall frontman they simply piled out cracking tune after cracking tune, and you quickly realise why their MySpace page has got a list of plaudits as long as your arm. Check them out now before they make the cover of Nightshift every single month this year! - Oxfordbands.com


"Spring Offensive: EP"

I’m not sure how long Spring Offensive have been going, but they sound to me like yet another excellent young Oxford band to have appeared almost out of thin air, and one that has hit the ground running. What is particularly impressive is the level of discipline and playing-for-the song they have achieved, which can typically takes years to acquire. A Let Down? Far from it. - Oxfordbands.com


"Impressive Quirk Rock: 13/13"

Spring Offensive makes your heart beat faster as you try to anticipate where it will go next ... Ones to watch.
- Room Thirteen


"EP Review: 4.5/5"

4.5/5 - There seems to be some criminal musical offense occurring where all of the best bands are being completely and painfully overlooked in favour of dull, run of the mill radio friendly acts and Spring Offensive are one of those bands being ignored.

It is rare that a band comes with this much promise within a debut EP and it would be criminal for anyone to ignore this.
- God Is In The TV


"Tom Robinson - BBC 6 Music Introducing"

Every time I think that white boys with guitars playing indie music has had its day, along comes a band like Spring Offensive and restores your faith in the genre. - BBC 6 Music


"Nightshift Album Review"

The reasons why everyone seems to love them are abundantly clear throughout this debut mini-album. - Nightshift


"EP Review"

Spring Offensive are not willing to let the DIY flame of yore die out anytime soon...the British rock flag is being flown both proudly and ably by bands like this. - Noize


"Album Review: 8/10"

What starts off sounding like an odd acoustic Depeche Mode, eventually blossoms into, well, I don’t know. It’s pretty ace though, I’m not going to beat about the bush. I suppose it qualifies as alternative – and that is what Oxford does best. Lucas Whitworth’s vocals carry a majority of the EP – and often open the tracks, gently trickling over an acoustic guitar before bursting into a rhythmic complex tangle of Foals-esque twiddles and charming vocal harmonies., and the lyrical content isn’t as painfully obvious or deliberately bizarre either – this is some quality material. My favourite track is undoubtedly the opener “I Found Myself Smiling,” but there is also promise elsewhere, such as in “Everything Other Than This,” the only track on the EP with even a hint of optimism! The other tracks do seem to possess a more depressing tone, but that’s no criticism, merely an observation – I’m a fan. But no sooner had I sensed a dash of happiness, the song took a slight country turn and it all got a bit Frank Turner. The final track is “Little Evening,” a particularly soft track, initially led by pleasant vocals and a clean plucky guitar, which eventually breaks down to the solo vocal drowning in an eerily quiet fog of distortion and uncertainty, until it finally cuts off forever. Quite a finish, quite a statement, quite an EP. 8/10 - Tasty Fanzine


Discography

Worry Fill My Heart (Single) - March 2012

A Stutter And A Start (Single) - April 2011

Between Me And You (EP) - February 2011

The First Of Many Dreams About Monsters (Single) - August 2010

Pull Us Apart (mini-album) - March 2010

Spring Offensive (EP) - August 2009

Photos

Bio

Spring Offensive announced themselves to the world in 2009, with a self-titled EP featuring lead track A Let Down, which was picked up by BBC 6 Music’s Tom Robinson before the band had really started playing proper gigs. That release was followed up in 2010 with a mini-album, Pull Us Apart.
At this point, with momentum and interest gaining, they started to a go little left-field. They recorded and gave away a free single, The First Of Many Dreams About Monsters, a 14-minute epic based around Swiss psychologist Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’s grief cycle outlined in her book, On Death and Dying. With further support from Radio 1, NME and others, they embarked on a tour of the UK.
In early 2011, the band performed another surprising sidestep, with a pay-what-you-like acoustic EP, Between Me And You, available for one week only. The funds from that went towards the release of their next single, A Stutter And A Start, with those who had paid over £4 being listed as co-funders. The single was released as a limited-edition, hand-stitched colouring book.
In the summer of 2011, Spring Offensive played various festivals, including a triumphant set in a packed tent at Truck Festival, and an opening slot at Underage Festival in London. They had already supported The Go-Team downstairs at the O2 Academy, where they would also headline the local night Upstairs. One more big gig, at the Ashmolean, completed a hugely successful Oxford summer.
2011 also saw Spring Offensive collaborating with award-winning science-based theatre company Curious Directive on an improvised John Cage inspired theatre performance at Green Man Festival, and contributing to an academic Nick Cave reader, writing about the role of the narrator. Their reputation for the unexpected was growing.
In October, Spring Offensive headed to Europe, where they played a string of rapturously received gigs in Germany and Switzerland. There, they played all sorts of places, pitching up in University dining halls, anarcho-punk squats, nightclubs and, strangest of all, venues. Upon returning home, they were invited to support Gaz Coombes at his debut solo gig, and set about devising a free gig in the East Oxford Community Centre, which hit capacity within hours of being announced.
In 2012, they have already recorded a live session for Amazing Radio and are set to head on a tour of the UK and Europe in March. March also sees the release of their long-awaited new single, Worry, Fill My Heart. It is a song about life not quite ending up how you expected it to, and the reality of a soul-sapping dead-end job. Spring Offensive try to offer an outlet for that frustration, both for themselves and for those who join them as friends and fans.