Reaching back into the catalog of guitarist Tom Ng (Gong Gong Gong, Love Research Institute) Trouble in Mind reissued the sole album from Canto psych trio The Offset: Spectacles at the tail end of last year. Swept away in the year-end hubbub and list making mania, the 10th anniversary release got bit of an unfair brush off. Fans of Gong Gong Gong will no doubt find a lot of crossover appeal between his current duo and The Offset: Spectacles. Hung on Ng’s wiry, insistent riffs that produce the “phantom rhythm” at the core of GGG, the band formed with and struggled with the question of whether or not they needed a drummer before diving headlong into the hammered grind that permeates their debut.
Yet where the thud of drums rings silent, Ou Jian and Vince Li provide a thunder roll of bass alongside organ wheeze and viola scratch. The record comes on raw — a festering wound of grind and growl, but the band is deftly able to apply the formula to songs without a touch of deja vu between tracks. The trio straddle the lines between Bo Diddly, Mississippi John Hurt, Tetuzi Akiyama’s Boogie period, and The Fugs. The anniversary version comes remastered by indie go-to Mikey Young with a cadre of bonus tracks in tow. If you’ve dug into Ng’s later works or are looking to scratch a minimal rock itch, this is prime fodder for ya right here.
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