The Offbeats
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The Offbeats

San Antonio, Texas, United States | SELF

San Antonio, Texas, United States | SELF
Band Alternative Rock


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This band has not uploaded any videos



""The Offbeats" play in the Garage"

"The Offbeats" play in the Garage

The Offbeats (

Print Story Published: 7/20/2011 5:09 pm Share Updated: 7/20/2011 5:26 pm
By Christina Rodriguez, Host of The Garage

SAN ANTONIO - This week on The Garage The Offbeats dropped by to show off their creative blend of the old and new.

This four piece group has the uncanny ability to blend the classic and smooth sounds of the past with the strong and rugged modern tones. Inspired by bands like the Beatles, the Strokes and Nirvana, the Offbeats have definitely created their own genre.

The Offbeats finalized their sound and lineup in 2008 with the release of their first full-length debut album, Standards. The guys have played local shows since before the release of their latest album this past April titled Lights Out In The City.

Catch The Offbeats at OFS at Rebar on August 6th.

"Live & Local: The Offbeats Lights Out In The City CD Release Party..."

Live & Local: The Offbeats Lights Out In The City CD release party at Pedicab (with video)


Though the venue was built for a capacity of 150, there were easily over 200 that flocked to the Pedicab on a humid but breezy Friday night to catch the Offbeats second CD release, Lights Out In The City. Judging from the turnout on April 1, I doubt the band's fans would have minded packing in if they played a show in a bathroom stall.

The set began with the pulsating drumbeat of album opener "Live From My Bedroom." Right off the bat, it was clear the band just wanted to rock the house rather than worry about that thing people call "stage presence." With the Offbeats, it's all about the music.

Take, for instance, "Cops N' Robbers," a danceable track with a catchy melody enhanced by Eric Romasanta's precise, clever bass line. The superb single sounded as great live as it does on the CD. The boys engulfed themselves in the rock and roll they created, harmoniously feeding off each other and oblivious to what was happening offstage. Colin Foster impressively sipped a beer while playing the drums without skipping a beat.

Throughout the night, the 'Beats led the audience through Lights Out and played a few tracks from their first, Standards. The group ended the night with the album's epic title track, which had everyone — including the band — dancing as the night wore on.

The light of the Offbeats has flickered over the years, but has inevitably managed to stay lit. After the departure of original drummer Mike Griffin, the band decided to change instruments instead of finding a new drummer, and the bet paid off — there is still a lot of power behind this band, and they still seem capable of pumping out new, relevant songs.

Strictly on musical terms, it was strong performance. But even as Romasanta hopped offstage to play in the crowd during "Battle of Flowers," it felt as if there were no connection between him and the audience. These guys aren't the greatest showmen — the gig had a cold, detached vibe to it — yet those seeking great music over "entertainment" got what they came for. - San Antonio Current

"The Offbeats' Lights Out In The City Album Review"

Local review of The Offbeats' Lights Out in the City
Label: Self-released
Genre: Recording


The first full-fledged album by the Offbeats since Standards (2008) required some drastic changes, but the now foursome pulled it off beautifully. Yes, hiring a producer would have helped, at least if said producer told them that the “Hey Jude”-like chorus repetitions work fine on one or two tracks, but not four out of ten. The first couple of songs sound like well-recorded demos of great ideas, rather than the finished product. But in an album of mostly great singles, “A Boy Like Me” is as terrific as singer/guitarist Bryan Foster, who is a mix of Mick Jagger and Julian Casablancas; the song has two choruses, the second one coming out of nowhere, as if from a different, unfinished song, but the boys make it work organically and credibly in the mix. “Boystown,” the fictitious world the Offbeats live in, is where the Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, and the Strokes meet, and the album is catchy as hell. If we were in Manchester, hooligans at Old Trafford would be chanting their choruses every Sunday. Here in San Antonio we’ll have to come up with another way of honoring one of the best local albums of the year. - San Antonio Current

"The renewed Offbeats are back with a vengeance"

The renewed Offbeats are back with a vengeance

The new old Offbeats: Sean, Eric, Bryan, and Colin.


If you do it for fun then what does it mean?

Boys like me will never hold up

Boys like me you never know of

But the words that we sing will never go away

— From “A Boy Like Me”

The Offbeats are my kind of band.

“As a band, we have always felt that if we’re going to make an album, the whole thing has got to be thought out, not just the songs,” singer/guitarist Bryan Foster told the Current recently. “I don’t like the idea of MP3s. It’s the way of the world now, but I don’t like it. I like getting albums with artwork and liner notes and all that. We want someone to buy this record and get the best music that we can offer and a unique and thoughtful packaging design.”

For the two-years-in-the-making Lights Out in the City, the Offbeats’ first full-fledged album since 2008’s Standards, the band didn’t just release an album of mostly great songs — they also took the trouble of painstakingly designing the cover art in newspaper format, writing “stories” that represent each of the songs, and freezing their butts on a cold night at Blue Star just to take some photos to go with it.

“To me, it feels like all of these songs could have taken place on the same night, Foster said. “I guess the album artwork also lends itself to that feel.”

The actual recording (produced by Foster) was pretty fast, but it took two years to survive the departure of original drummer Mike Griffin, who left right after the recording of Standards. Instead of looking for a new drummer, the band opted for the hard way out: changing instruments.

“We didn’t even try [to look for a new drummer],” Foster said. “[Griffin] left and our first instinct was to regroup. Both Sean and Colin [Foster’s brothers] had experience playing drums, so we decided to go as a four-piece. We knew the songs and it was easier to regroup and start playing shows right away than to look for a new drummer.”

The “new” Offbeats kept Bryan Foster on guitar and vocals, but bassist Colin switched to drums, guitarist Eric Romasanta moved to bass, and Sean stuck to guitar after playing guitar, keyboards, and some bass.

“Once we were ready to record it was pretty fast,” said Foster, “but what took a long time was to gel after switching things around.”

Boy, did it gel.

Besides the many musical merits of a hooks-filled album (see review on page 64), the lyrics are smart and show the Offbeats as vulnerable “boys” in a world falling apart, guys who, despite it all, have the balls to take life seriously and give it all they’ve got. They denounce those who “wear collared shirts and kneel in church to window-dress the lies” (“Cops N’ Robbers”); announce that “you can write us off/ But you cannot buy us all” (“Pennies”); who “dug up Davy Crockett’s dust and bones” and “used his ashes to fill the cascarones” (“Battle of Flowers,” a lethal farce about a present-day reconquest of the city); and predict that “one day we will pay for everything we pray for” (“Boystown”).

But the album is far from a downer. Despite its title and black-and-white cover, there’s light everywhere you don’t see it — it enters through your ears as a feast of killer melodies, nagging riffs, unexpected detours, and stadium choruses (some songs even have more than one chorus). And yes, they do sound like the Strokes at times.

Read our review of Lights Out in the City

“We get a lot of that,” he sighs. “We’re all fans of the Strokes. We like them a lot, a lot, but we never aimed to sound like them. There are bands that I like more, like the Clash, and I think these songs and this album were more influenced by albums like [the Clash’s] London Calling, [the Rolling Stones’] Exile On Main Street, [Bruce Springsteen’s] Born to Run, and [Patti Smith’s] Horses. [The comparison] is nice, but on the same token I don’t want us to sound like we really try to go for that kind of sound, because we don’t.”

In any case, the two albums the Offbeats managed to put out so far are solid enough to assure them a legitimate place in San Antonio’s rock history. As they said in “A Boy Like Me,” the backbone of the record:

“So please remember us on long/ After we’re gone/ The songs will preserve us.”

It’s too early for that, but don’t worry, boys: We’ll keep the songs.

- San Antonio Current

"High 'Standards' After seven years the Offbeats finally found a producer they're happy with - themselves"

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


For a full-length debut, self-recorded and produced, the Offbeats' Standards sounds impressively professional and mature. That's not so surprising when you consider that, in some ways, this local act has spent the past seven years completing it. As the title might imply, the album is a collection of previously released material, a sort of greatest-hits compilation, though reworked and rerecorded. The Offbeats have released several EPs over the years, recorded and produced by friends and professionals, but lead singer and second guitarist Bryan Foster says the band continually left the studio disappointed in the final product.

"We always came out feeling like it never sounded like us," Foster said. "It was never what we felt like it was when we had that live vibe. We'd never get that feeling."

The problem, Foster said, was the limited amount of studio time the band could afford and the fact that many of the past producers were just working on the album as a favor and unable to devote enough energy and resources to bring the project up to the band's own expectations.

"They don't have the most time to spend on it," Foster said. "It's not really their priority."

Perhaps as a consequence, the end results were never as polished as the band would have liked.

"The albums always seemed flat," Foster said, "[there were] no dynamics."

Recording the album themselves in their own rehearsal space, lead guitarist and backup vocalist Eric Romasanta said, gave the band an unlimited amount of time to spend on the album. Time to rework arrangements, or even scrap and rerecord track takes they weren't happy with.

"We were able to get the parts arranged the way we wanted and tweak some of the songs," Romasanta said. "[Recording ourselves] allowed us more freedom to sort of eff around."

All that effing around pays off. While the band's production work tends more toward Steve Albini's straight recording than Brian Wilson's OCD symphonies, the album is sharp and clean, perfect for the Offbeats' sound — a combination of snarling post-punk attacks and poppy accessibility — think the Libertines with more control, or Boris with more restraint — and small touches (Foster's multi-channel solo duet on "Bohemian Slang," to the few feedback-entropy endnotes) give Standards a greater depth and variety. The Offbeats obviously picked up a few tricks in their studio visits.

"Over the last two years," Foster said, "we've become more focused on the technical aspect of things, spending more time on the songs, trying to keep them from all sounding the same."

Keeping things fresh can be a difficult task when you're recording an album full of songs you've played countless times over several years. Part of the purpose for recording a definitive version of these songs , Foster said, was to "kind of get past those and move on."

Despite his familiarity with the material here, Foster seems bored in only two instances: Describing with nonchalance what seems to be some pretty freaky sexual situations on the Wire-y "How Come Everybody …?" (exactly the burnt-out tone the song calls for; Foster's snotty yelping has a limited range but he characterizes tracks with vocal tics like a champ) before apparently switching teams, and (probably unintentionally) on "Smoking Gun," the album's oldest track, which ends Standards on a relatively weak note. Foster's greatly improved as a songwriter between then and now.

Foster and Romasanta started the band seven years ago when they were still in high school. The line-up has changed over the years, settling on the current incarnation, with Colin and Sean Foster, Bryan's younger brothers, trading off duties on drums and bass. (Drummer Mike Griffin, no longer with the band, kept time on most of the album's tracks.) Sean also plays the keyboard on a few songs.

The keys are a new addition to the Offbeats sound, a potential threat to the band's aggressive tendencies. The smattering of light-mixed keys on Standards never really kills the guitar buzz — Romasanta and Foster's guitars often sound like they're picked with rusty razor blades. And, though the organ work and complementary accoustic strumming give "Carolina, Caroline" a catchy appeal and genuine hit potential, the barking vocals and "dollar whore" jab save the track from emo-balladry. The sound on many songs is too full and hooky for the DIY straight-edge, but the poppiest augmentations are more subtle than multi-layered "Piano Man"-ing — hand claps, rattles, and a musical playfulness closer to late-'70s sarcasm than hardcore earnesty. (Check out the "Surf City" vibe on "Switchblade," a song that seems to be begging a friend to dispose of a murder weapon. )

Though they work to keep an "edge" to their compositions, the Offbeats aren't constantly trying to be abrasive or confrontational.

"We don't strive for that," Foster said, "You don't always gotta be pouting with your fists clenched."

While the album does indeed contain plenty of fist-clenching and pouty-facing, the fuller production perfectly complements the band's sound, too deep and complex to be faithfully pigeon-holed in the punk genre, for one of the year's better releases, local or otherwise. Not surprisingly, the band agrees.

"It's the best we've ever done," Romasanta said. "It's what we sound like, or what we hope to sound like. I'm really happy."

The Offbeats say they've achieved their main goal in recording the album — to make a record that sounds like their live show, a faithful recreation for longtime listeners and a fair represenation for Offbeats new comers.

"I hope that anyone who's been listening to us for a long time will hear the album and say, "This sounds like the Offbeats," Foster said. "That'd be nice … I'd like that." •
- San Antonio Current


1. "Standards" 2008 Full Length LP
2. "Lights Out In The City" 2011 Full Length LP



We are an unconventional band with a fairly conventional sound. We are comprised of three brothers (Bryan, Colin, Sean) and a good friend (Eric). Our sound is very punchy/poppy with a hint of punk angst (the conventional part). We write, arrange, and produce our own music and music videos (the unconventional part). In 2008 we released our first full length album entitled "Standards". Album singles "Pokeadot" and "Bohemian Slang" received generous play on local radio stations. The album sold well locally and garnered critical praise from many of the San Antonio music writers. In 2011 we released our second LP "Lights Out In The City". Enrique Lopetegui (San Antonio Current music and film editor) called the album "The best concept album of the year, from the cover to the last song". Album singles "Cops N' Robbers" and "I Know Why Now" have received heavy local radio play. Our influences range from The Beatles and Elvis to The Clash and The Libertines. We are currently working on the follow up to "Lights Out In The City" and are hoping to tour in the summer. We think you'll like what you hear.