Oxford Collapse – Bits (CD)

Oxford Collapse has been around for 6 years, and each subsequent release has built well their mystique, leading forth from their self-titled demo up through their debut (2004’s “Some Wilderness”), to their Sub Pop debut (2006’s ”Remember The Night Parties”). “Electric Arc”, the disc’s first track, immediately shows fans familiar with the band this evolution, leading forth strongly into “The Birthday Wars”. “The Birthday Wars” has a very complex sounds that allows individuals the opportunity to listen a number of times before truly understanding what Oxford Collapse are trying to do with this track. Hints of The Anniversary and Fugazi link together into something that is fresh, energetic, and is completely unique.

The dissonance created by the band during the track threatens to overtake the speakers, but the band’s capability is such that things are reined in and a truly wondrous track results. “Vernon-Jackson” starts out with a hint of the B-52s, before the band focuses in and creates a vocal-driven track that rapidly gains speed until listeners are thrown into the same chaos that first manifested itself during “The Birthday Wars”. “Young Love Delivers” is one of the early hits on “Bits”; the vocals distinguish themselves from the rest of the elements present on the track, creating a hopeful type of track hat ties together The Polyphonic Spree with the grittiest and dirtiest rock from the seventies. While Oxford Collapse comes up with their own style throughout each of the 13 cuts on “Bits”, one nuance to the band’s style is that musical styles are unified in previously unheard ways. The genres are meshed together to create something eminently new, regardless of whether those genres have any connection to the present.

“A Wedding” has a slower tempo than many of the tracks on “Bits”, but the repetitions created by the instrumentation bolster the Against Me meets Letterman vocal style into something that works well, despite the distinct between the two constituent pieces. If you have a chance to see Oxford Collapse live, do it. While “Bits” is able to resolve any problems brought by these distinct and different styles, I would personally like to see what they bring to the table when the environment varies. “Bits” is an unique piece of indie rock that plays upon a number of familiar (and not so familiar) styles and approaches, making for another hit for Oxford Collapse.

Top Tracks: A Wedding, Men & Their Ideas

Rating: 7.4/10

Oxford Collapse – Bits / 2008 Sub Pop / 13 Tracks / http://www.myspace.com/theoxfordcollapse / http://www.subpop.com /

Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University.

I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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