OFFICE played at the Cornerstone office a little less than a year ago, and since that day, it is an understatement to say that I have been somewhat intrigued with this band. Why you ask? Perhaps it is the band's affiliation with ex-Pumpkins James Iha's Scratchie Records via New Line; maybe it is the rare three ladies to two-dude ratio that made me make a bit of extra effort on my tiptoes to not lose site of the stage. Or it could be the Midwestern boy in me pulling for something big to make it out of the flyover states. Let's be realistic here. I see James Iha about once a week 'round here, too many bands in this scene rely on the looks, and there is a reason that I moved away from the OH. I like OFFICE because their tunes are well crafted and catchy, and they make me want to move my feet with the headphones on or in a live setting.
With the band's first release under a label, A Night at the Ritz, forthcoming in late September, the Mercury Lounge was abuzz with fans and industry eager to get a preview of what's to come. Unable to make the previous night's show at Studio B (which OFFICE played under-womaned due to bass player Alissa Noonan's flight delay), the group's 11:30 stage time saw them at full strength and dressed to impress.
"If You Don't Know By Now," led things off with lead singer Scott Masson setting the scene; the harmony was right on point with fellow band mates Erica Corniel, Jessica Gonyea, and Tom Smith chiming in, and bass player Noonan kept the pace. While the first song was noticeably quick (nerves?), Masson's voice satisfied in the forthcoming single, "The Ritz," with each successive hook of "FRICTION!" stirring the packed room. My personal fave, "Q and A," was surely a high point of the evening, and "Molly" left each woman in the room tingly no matter their real first name. The night wound down with the keyboard funky "Wound Up," and closed with the short and savory "Oh My." OFFICE live is not a show to miss, and despite the barrage of fall concert dates on the horizon, I suggest you catch their support of Earlimart this October.