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+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
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+ Camille - Le Fil
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+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
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+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
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+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
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+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
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+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
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44.1 kHz Archive

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Oxford Collapse
A Good Ground

I know the punk-funk thing has gotten tired. Old, boring and repetitive. Who do these bands think they are, anyway? Copping the way they do. Jumping the bandwagon like they do. Following the herd with shallow visions of dollar signs dancing in their heads like they do. How can so many of them really believe they'll succeed riding the same unimaginative wave? It's all so sad and pathetic and disheartening, isn't it? Unoriginal and bland, it is.

It's true. With the recycling of any musical phenomenon comes a pack of soulless imitators. And a band like Oxford Collapse. A band that should be a bitter bore but, by some act of God unbeknownst to me, overcomes the odds. The references are there. The Wire-y riffs are there. The spastic beats are there.

But so is something else. Dunno what it is really. Must be that element you can't quite put your finger on. That thing that's inherent in all good music, but that you can't pin down. Still, it does something for you. It makes you feel. It makes you believe. And makes you forget where it came from, makes you happy that someone was able to carry the torch without snuffing it out. And that they did. Even if they are [insert long drawn-out sigh here] from Brooklyn.

So how did they do it? Good question. Might have something to do with the way their music feels so effortless and confident, gritty and graceful. You can tell they weren't trying too hard. They weren't looking to replicate a sound or an attitude. They just wanted to make the music they loved. Also it seems they were willing to lend parts of their collective self to the music and came out with something original because of that. What they offer is a cross between tame and fired-up, melodic and heavy, calm and snotty. What they offer is an excellent continuation of punk and indie rock's legacy. And if you're a fan of either, you'll dig this.

"Last American Virgin" builds and rumbles, the guitar chiming alongside, while the lead singer yelps and whines and demands to be heard in classic punk-rock fashion. The slow, sweet, acoustic "Flora y Fauna" is a brief break from speedier, dancier cuts like "Proofreading," which features high-pitched, squealing vocals, ringing riffs and whiplash beats you can shake to, no problem. The repetitive, grinding, nonsense behind "Flaws" feels a bit like '80s SST bands, while the jerking rhythms, heavy grooves and playful beats that make up "Cracks in the Causeway" fall someplace between The Clash and XTC. Oxford Collapse may borrow from the history books but, boasting the all-too-rare combination of creativity, personality and originality, they come out on top.

by Jenny Tatone

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