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Oxford Collapse
Some Wilderness
Kanine Records
www.oxfordcollapse.com


Once again I'm sitting at home with my dog Cadence on a lazy Sunday afternoon, just listening to music and reading Douglas Adams. I had some simpering art rock band in the player that I was only half listening to, when Cadence let out a big sigh, put her head on my arm, looked at me and said, "Remember that one time a few months ago when you reviewed that band the Narrator, and the music made me tear up my pillow?"
"Of course I do, Cadie," I responded, "We both love that band."
"Well, I want you to put on another band like that."
"But Cadence, you don't have anymore pillows to tear up."
"That's ok; I'll just tear up yours."
After coming to this conclusion, we fished through the albums I had to review and pulled out the most promising of the lot: Some Wilderness by Oxford Collapse. Anything with the words "Collapse" and "Wilderness" has to be at least a little bit kickass, right? In this case, the title does not belie the music. Cadence had her pillow-destroying music alright.

Sometimes sounding like the Pixies, sometimes Sonic Youth, sometimes Mission of Burma, and sometimes even Devo, these kids rock it old school, but with a fresh sense of humor. Titles like "Totally Gay, Totally Fat" are perfect examples of the band's collective headspace. Mike Pace's fitful vocals provide a focal point for the band's high-spirited adventurousness, while the instruments usually do most of the actual storytelling. The sparse lyrics on many of the tracks merely emphasize what the music is already saying. It is this topsy-turvy approach to songwriting that makes Oxford Collapse more than just another indie rock band; they remind us that you don't have to wear safety pins in your ears to be punk rock.

Here's my suggestion for the next step: Oxford Collapse needs to tour with Detachment Kit and the Panthers, and they can call their tour "Brooklyn Destroys America." At each show, the bands can try their best to out-sweat, out-scream, and out-sarcasm their tour mates, and let the audience decide who wins. I would go... wouldn't you?

- Emily Strong

Track list:
1. Land!
2. 1991 Kids
3. Money You Have Is Maybe Too Little
4. Cumberland Gap
5. Melting the Ice Queen
6. Totally Gay, Totally Fat
7. Back in Com Again
8. For Buds, Not Boston
9. General Hospital
10. Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night


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Mike Doughty



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