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Oaf: Birth School Oaf Death

Album Review

Post-punk, prog and metal collide on this second album

Hammer readers may not yet know that this parish’s Dom Lawson fronts an avant-garde and quite brilliant post-punk band. A bass-and-drums duo, Oaf exude more energy and sardonic wit than bands with three times as many members can muster.

Opener The Oaferture II is a brilliantly malevolent piece of wailing, sax-driven free-jazz that recalls Morphine (the band) and morphine (the drug). We Know Why You’re Rubbish and Marker Pen Cocks most recall mid-80s John Peel oddities such as Bogshed, The Membranes and especially Cardiacs.

Love On The Rocks is an operatic piece of hollering, sawing and drilling noises, like a leathered Tom Waits going utterly tonto in B&Q. It might just be genius. Like their influences, Oaf exist in the gaps between trends and genres. They may yet become a British institution.

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