Oxford Collapse - Remember the Night Parties

I suspect that fun power pop/rock is something they want to expand upon. On the evidence of this rather prosaic workout I'm not sure they should bother

 

 

Oxford Collapse – Remember the Night Parties

http://www.subpop.com/ http://www.konkurrent.nl/

 

New York three-piece Oxford Collapse are described as being 'art-rock' and a quick look at the first few song titles suggest that this won't be too far off the mark – He'll Paint While We Play and Please Visit Your National Parks. In fact the first song is the weakest on the album and disappears without protest. Much better is Please Visit... There is something about a three-piece rock band that really works. Who knows why? Anyway what we have is a catchy, head-nodding and foot-tapping song with chiming guitars. It's pop and its rock and you can't have too many songs where the vocal is shouted and not sung. Loser City continues the trend with jangly guitars and a catchy tune. A third way through it slows to a halt and builds itself up from the bottom before getting going once again. For the Khakis and the Sweatshirts takes the jangly sound too far for my liking and the song meanders somewhat. Return of / Burno is the sound of a band wanting to break free of something.

 

I've not heard their earlier albums but I suspect that fun power pop/rock is something they want to expand upon. On the evidence of this rather prosaic workout I'm not sure they should bother. It's too restrained to be a genuine wig-out and it would have been much better had they really gone for it. Lady Lawyers returns the band to the quick pop/rock song and the album kicks on once again. Let's Vanish repeats the exuberance of Lady Lawyers but to slightly lesser effect. Kenny Can't Afford It features an Akron/Family style chant and a trumpet. Molasses is another standout track with rather disturbing lyrics and a completely crap recorder adding to the fun. The album finishes with the uplifting In Your Volcano, a strummed stomp-along.

 

Remember the Night Parties is not an album to change your world – it offers three or four good, fun, rock songs to jump up and down to. It's not really what I would call art-rock, but then they are an American band and I guess that anything with guitars that doesn't sound like either Garth Brooks or Poison gets lumped into that category. As I say, one gets the impression that they'd like to move on a bit from these three-minute pop workouts into more expressive areas, but I can't help but think that this is precisely where their strengths lie.

 

Words: Chris Dawson.