Loud, obnoxious, angry, offensive and even a little distasteful… and that’s just the intro track, ‘The Oafature’! From that you might think that I didn’t like it, well, you couldn’t be further from the truth… I loved it. It’s hard to define their style, there’s certainly not a pigeon hole they would fit in; in fact, they are more likely to drive a bulldozer through the wall where the pigeon holes are, set fire to them and do all manner of unmentionable things on them than put themselves into one!
The south coast duo Oaf are the true odd couple, there’s the band t-shirted, long haired metal scribe Dom Lawson and the mild mannered, three-piece suited, trilby wearing James Rayment. Their aural attack consisting only of a distorted bass guitar and a set of drums shouldn’t work, but it does and really quite well too!
Oaf recorded their debut release ‘Botheration’ under the stewardship of master knob twiddler Russ Russell at The Parlour Studios in Northamptonshire in November 2009. A twelve song epic that was written and recorded with the foresight to fit it on one side of a 90 minute cassette. Genius!
On the first play it reminded me of Half Man Half Biscuit, or rather, a Half Man Half Biscuit whose chips you had just spat in whilst walking past them with Nerys Hughes on your arm and wearing a Dukla Prague away kit… in short, a very angry Half Man Half Biscuit! There is also definitely a hint of Dead Kennedys in there, just a hint though. I think I also detected a sprinkling of Fugazi at times and more than a dash of Fudge Tunnel too!
Highlights from the album include “The Black Whale” complete with a syncopated Jazz drum beats and lead bass guitar! “Giant Ballbag” in which Oaf are joined on guitar by former Darkness frontman Justin Hawkins. The awesome “No More Tickets For The Time Machine”, a catchy little ditty that will have you humming for days and is a serious Top 10 contender! Well, perhaps in Bulgaria where they are really hot on this type of thing. Oaf also pays homage to the 80’s with their rendition of the classic Blancmange hit “Living on the Ceiling”!
‘Botheration’ may not be to everyone’s taste and the ‘Datz not Metulz’ brigade are positively salivating at the prospect of unleashing their vitriol on it. It’s also fair to say that ‘Your mother wouldn’t like it’ but I’m pretty sure that’s just how Oaf would want it to be! I, however, think it is ace, a retrospective look back at something that existed in the future of a parallel universe…