Article by Anastasia Logan
Photos by Matthew Flood
Music has the power to speak volumes and give comfort to those who need it most. Øff Guard, an alternative-punk band from Long Island, New York, recognize this fact and creates music in hopes of bringing comfort to those who are facing a personal hardship. This four-piece group is comprised of Matt Weiss (Lead Vocalist), Tyler Embry (Bassist/Vocalist), Matt Becker (Guitarist), and Nick Kolokathis (Drummer). Originally, this group was a five-piece group who met through school and the Long Island music scene. They started preforming together in 2014 supporting vocalist, Matt Weiss during his solo project. Two years and a whole rebrand later they started creating a new album in hopes of showing their work to the public. Their hard work paid off. In the summer of 2017, the introduced Øff Guard to the world and released their debut EP, Set the Scene, only a couple of months later in fall of 2017. Øff Guard received notable praise from Vic Fuentes, vocalist of Pierce the Veil, on Twitter after quite literally running to him and handing him a demo of their work. This shout out gave them some considerable exposure that was beneficial during their early time as a band. Showing no signs of slowing down, 2019 has already been a big year for Øff Guard. In April, they went on their first tour to promote Set the Scene, released two new singles, “Lights” and “Bounce House” from their new album Losing My Mind with My Heart that dropped in the summer.
Losing My Mind with My Heart is an album centered around how to cope with death, mental health and interpersonal relationships. While this entire album showcases eight impactful tracks, there are a couple that stand out in their own unique way. The first would be “Stick Around”, which is a traditional alternative sound that might result in some uncontrollable head banging. On the flip side of things, “Overnight” strips down to an acoustic instrumental, allowing for the vocals to become the powerhouse of the song. Harmonies become a forefront resulting in an emotional song that stands out from the rest. In whole, this album encapsulates everything that one would think of when they hear alternative-punk.
Øff Guard are making moves within the music industry and are not slowing down anytime soon. They are not afraid to push boundaries to create something that will resonate with audiences long after the song has concluded. Their future is very bright, and we cannot wait to be caught off guard by what they create next.
Keep up with their adventures!