The following description comes from the event organizer.The first time I saw Typhoon, around 2006, they looked like the kids from Lord of the Flies after a few weeks on the island. Unkempt, new to the big city, exploding with excitement to play for anyone, anywhere. In basements and back-room all-ages clubs that might as well have been basements, they already knew how to rattle bones, jerk tears and turn stomachs--that all came Naturally.
I don’t know how self-aware they were then. I don’t know if they really knew the power of the sheer spectacle of ten kids flooding a space like an uprising of feral choir students. I know they didn’t seem too self-assured. During the quiet parts they would sway against each other, some biting their lips and some staring at their shoes while frontman Kyle Morton strummed a guitar half his size. Nervous jokes were often cracked amongst the horn section. And then the chorus would hit and they would intuitively become this single, heart-rending noise that didn’t sound like anything else. More metal than all but the gnarliest metal; still sweet and unflinchingly honest. They weren’t kids in those moments, they were pure weaponized humanity.
For a long time I thought the secret ingredient was youth--that the urgency of being 19 and having something to say just permeated Typhoon’s songs and made them feel vital. They were, after all, the kids who couldn’t get enough. They were the kids you’d see cross-legged in the front row of the Mount Eerie show, wide-eyed. But Typhoon has grown up without letting go of their earnesty or their urgency. The band has gotten smarter, sharper, less reliant on spectacle. Typhoon has pared down a bit (eight members at last count), though old members still make appearances onstage and are often strewn about the green room after hometown shows, when shows aren’t so hard to come by.
As time has gone by, Kyle Morton has slowly become one of his generation’s most profound and nuanced songwriters. He has also learned how to run a band that once seemed unmanageable. Typhoon’s secret instrument of hearts and hollers bubbling up in loose unison, though, that still works just the same way. Maybe it works because this band is still interrogating the same complicated hallways of the human heart that it started with.
Typhoon songs are, overwhelmingly, about the human tendency to confuse the things that possess us for the things we possess. They are about the impossibility of home, even as physical houses feature so prominently in Morton’s songs: dying on the kitchen floor, an idyllic cabin where small monsters lay in wait, the long hallways of the devil’s mansion (I told you this band was metal). In ever more ambitious fashion, Typhoon asks why it’s so hard to find our place, why our lot is never large enough. Honestly, the answer keeps getting darker. Lucky for us, Typhoon keeps a light on.