Goofy name, good band

Pub date July 22, 2008
SectionMusicSectionMusic Features

PREVIEW Start with the name, take in the oversized T’s, and then turn an ear toward the big, fat, buzzy beat. Just who were these dudes, we all wondered, as the group took the Fader Fort stage at this year’s South By Southwest and proceeded to dangerously distract the ironically mulleted, sarcastically sunglassy hipsters and jaded music-biz buzzards from the free bevs at the bar. As the set progressed, all and sundry tromped to the front, pulled by the massive beats and the leaping, high-stepping antics of lead vocalist James Rushent.

Yeah, these guys were not cool in the strictly hyper-trendoid sense of the word — meaning cool down to the millisecond edge of the moment. The band’s floppy shorts and wholesome miens probably reminded bleary-eyed, cynical scenesters of normal suburban dudes down the block more than any affected decadent they might ordinarily aspire to ape. Yet there was nothing poseur about the cool kids’ fists pumping down front: the fact that the guys of Does It Offend You, Yeah? — goofy name and all — managed to get the most tired of industry booty moving was a testament to the power of their sound and their infectious enthusiasm onstage. Apart from a few tracks like the nu-rave "Battle Royale" and "With a Heavy Heart (I Regret to Inform You)," does their new album offend with its inconsistency — and its occasional trite Euro-rock tropes? Yeah. But that’s what iTunes is for: pick and choose which Does It Offend You, Yeah you prefer — and unlike some other dance poppers, rest assured, they won’t repulse live.

DOES IT OFFEND YOU, YEAH? With Steel Lord. Fri/25, 9 p.m., $13. Popscene, 330 Ritch, SF. (415) 541-9574, Also with Bloc Party, July 30, 9 p.m., $27.50. Fillmore, 1805 Geary, SF. (415) 346-6000,