Altamont Union – Tet Offensive

Altamont Union
Tet Offensive

This song starts off so melodic and nice, it’s not quite what I expected from the title and the lyrics available on the band’s site. Then the guitars and bass blare in, and the song takes a decidedly more aggressive feel. But oddly enough, the song maintains the subtle melodicism even at its most aggressive moments.

Because “Tet Offensive” is aggressive. The chorus is screamed over a pounding drumline and blistering guitars, but it turns on a dime, bringing in melodic guitars and subtle beats, with more emo-style lyrics and even the sound of toy piano. I’m flummoxed by this time, completely unsure what to expect next from Altamont Union.

So yeah, the song breaks into this hardcore approach now, screams coming loud and fast over a charging beat, yet somehow it manages to stay coherent, never going for the cheap aural assault. That’s what I like most about this song. Even in its most chaotic – and it is chaotic, with a ton of different things going on, from guitars and bass to odd piano and synth sounds – it manages to stay under control. Yes, there’s a sense that the band barely stays under control, but barely is enough to set this song apart from your aggressive emo rockers.

From what I can tell from the band’s website, these guys are young, from 16 to 18, and they play a lot of skateparks and VFW halls, I bet. A quick listen to some other tracks on the band’s site reveals a more punk approach, but there’s something decidedly unique and a little twisted about these guys, and I’m all for that.