Thursday, June 26, 2008

New Oxford Collapse - "The Birthday Wars"

Download: Oxford Collapse - "The Birthday Wars"

Oxford Collapse's 2006 Sub-Pop debut Remember The Night Parties was cathartic indie-rock comfort food. The music was familiar, sure, to anyone who'd ever attended a sparsely-attended underground rock show in the past two decades. But wow, was OC ever capable of delivering the anthemic goods--check the raucous, jangly sing-along "Please Visit Your National Parks", if you don't believe me. There, you'll find one of that year's best songs.

So, naturally, expectations are high. Yesterday, the veritable indie-label posted a new track from their forthcoming album Bits (the cover art for which you see at the top of the post). So does it meet expectations?

Well...I don't think so. The guitar riff is certainly catchy, and it sounds like the beginning of a potentially great song. However, once the rest of the band kicks in, the track is content to repeat itself over and over again. The experience was anti-climatic. "The Birthday Wars" sounds like its gonna start a riot, but then backs off, perhaps distract by some sort of appeasement that we'll never find out about. Maybe "The Birthday Wars" works better in the context of an entire album, but as a stand-alone single, it can't elicit a reaction other than sheer ambivalence.

But, as I said, maybe the song works better in the context of the record, the track-listing for which is below.

1. Electric Arc
2. The Birthday Wars
3. Vernon-Jackson
4. Young Love Delivers
5. Back of the Yards
6. A Wedding
7. Featherbeds
8. For the Winter Coats
9. Men and Their Ideas
10. Children's Crusade
11. John Blood
12. B-Roll
13. I Hate Nobody

Bits is out on August 5th.

Oxford Collapse MySpace Page

(Jonathan Graef)

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