Does it Offend You, Yeah?

Matt Diehl
David Burton

Just when you thought the long-lamented practice of guys quoting The Office had begun its final descent down the great swirling drain of pop culture, along comes Does It Offend You, Yeah? to scoop it out, dry it off, and give it life once again. The British foursome, whose music combines the urgency of punk rock with the ambience of electronica, cribbed their name from that series-a line uttered by Ricky Gervais's character on the U.K. version in response to a poke at his midday drinking. But while DIOYY's out-of-the-box sound and explosive performances have won them droves of fans on both the indie-rock and dance- music sides of the aisle, the band's moniker has proved a topic of heated debate. "We get e-mails all the time from people who write, ‘I refuse to listen to your music 'cause your name is so shit,'" explains 24-year-old singer and bassist James Rushent. "The funny thing is, they're offended by a band called Does It Offend You, Yeah?"

Whatever. DIOYY's songs are addictively funky. Instead of serving up extended remixes like so many dance-oriented artists, the group-which also includes drummer Rob Bloomfield, keyboardist Dan Coop, and singer-guitarist-keyboardist Morgan Quaintance-makes electro grooves that abide by punk's loud and fast rules. DIOYY's debut album, You Have No Idea What You're Getting Yourself Into (Almost Gold), which was released earlier this year, is all short, sharp shocks, alternating screaming rave sirens and hyper cowbells with the rabid howl of ersatz '80s-teen angst. The results sound something like what would take place if the Stooges, Public Enemy, and Prodigy were jamming at an illegal warehouse club while John Hughes movies played in the chill-out room. "We actually named our song ‘Being Bad Feels Pretty Good' from a line in The Breakfast Club," Rushent says. The band won over the big festival audience at Coachella earlier this year, but the party these guys really want to play is much bigger: the end of the world as we know it. "It'll be like the rave in the second Matrix movie," he explains. "We're all underground, Morpheus is with us, and everyone's really good-looking, sweaty, and having sex. And then, everyone just explodes!"

 

 

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