Upcoming Releases

Take Offense T.O.tality Punk Rock Theory
Monday, February 26, 2024 - 19:06
submitted by

Chula Vista’s Take Offense forge ahead towards new frontiers on T.O.tality. After nearly two decades of grinding and the accompanying blood/sweat, Take Offense have mastered their craft, reaching the pinnacle of their crossover style. T.O.tality, their fourth overall album and label debut for MNRK Heavy, is marked with a sense of modernity– incorporating the hard-driving ethos of thrash, the finesse of speed metal, the sneering tenacity of hardcore all while nodding to their home of Southern California.

Take Offense look toward the tone and attitude of their California counterparts– bands like EXCEL and Suicidal Tendencies who also leaned heavily into skate aesthetics but worshipped Sunset Strip-and-adjacent guitar dieties like Warren Di Martini and Eddie Van Halen. T.O.tality is a love letter to that scene and those times, delivered in the form of an armada of fourteen nitro-equipped tracks that explode through barricades of genre convention and emptying the clip with fresh ideas. It’s a tribute to local heroes with familiar approaches that are wholly and undoubtedly Take Offense.

Much like previous recordings, tracking for T.O.tality took place with Nick Jett (Terror) and the band serving as producers. But conflicting schedules between Herrera, guitarist Greg Cerwonka, bassist Randy Noyes, drummer Mitch Reitman and rhythm guitarist Ricky Garcia caused the recording of the much anticipated follow-up to Cause & Effect to be drawn out– writing commenced in Summer 2021 and tracking was completed in June 2023, with Matt Hyde (Slayer, No Doubt, Deftones) handling the mixing and Nick Townsend on mastering duty. “We’re incredibly proud of the record, and feel like it really represents who we are and where we’re from. But it was really a strenuous one to make and at points it felt like we might not get it done,” admits Greg. "There were scheduling issues and complications around the pandemic, and on top of that Greg played in the live lineup of Turnstile for a while, so that added another layer. Regardless of all that, T.O.tality is here, and a big step forward."

And while only a cursory listen is needed to know that T.O.tality is a massive evolutionary step forward for the band, a detailed listen reveals the attention given with respect to lyricism and storytelling by frontman Anthony Herrera. Familiar lyrical themes from previous releases still ring true, but Herrera also called upon his own upbringing to add in themes surrounding existentialism, politics, soldiering forward and leaving regret behind. “I feel like I didn't hold back on things I wanted to say. It’s even in the title of the record– totality,” admits Herrera. “Certain tracks on the record have references to Mexica, which are beliefs that go back to early Mexico– something that I grew up with. When I was younger, I don’t think it was as easy for me to express certain things into words. I think things come easier now and I feel like I put it all out there. So I'm very proud to be at this point– I feel like we are stronger than ever, and with the new record we are the best version of who we are.”


T.O.tality track list:

  1. Greetings From Below
  2. S.W.O.
  3. T.O.tality
  4. If I’m Damned, So Be It
  5. Assassination
  6. Uncivilized Animals
  7. Now Or Never
  8. Deep Inside/House Of Shadows
  9. No Mans Land (Instrumental)
  10. Stolen Land
  11. Until Then
  12. Beyond Flesh And Bone
  13. Give’m Chaos
  14. The Prayer