Sunday, 8 December 2013

OXYGEN THIEF - ALBUM REVIEW

Oxygen Thief - Accidents Do Not Happen, They Are Caused (Xtra Mile Recordings) 
Oxygen Thief - Accidents Do Happen, They Are Caused

Release Date: 9th December 2013

I'm getting a little bit bored of the constant stream of excellent artists just falling out of Xtra Mile's arse these days (I'm not really, I just like to pretend I'm so incredibly cool). Oxygen Thief is the latest of the production line from Bristol and is the stage name of local boy Barry Dolan whether he's part of a fully electric trio or just solo acoustic. This album is a fully electric affair and all the better for it as the visceral and urgent 'There Can Be Only One' hitting you round the chops like a sudden and blinding hang over at 10.00am on a Sunday. 'Modesty Is Dead' is a slightly lighter affair, embracing the indie-pop-punk side of the musical spectrum with aplomb as Dolan sings "If patience is a virtue what's the point in urgency?". The superbly titled 'Terry Nutkins Salute' is invokes the spirit of Reuben, Hundred Reasons and Symposium which makes me feel young again. Young and angry. Young, angry and way, way cool. The spoonerism inspired 'Mestle & Portar' is pure Jamie Lenman in its attitude, content and delivery while 'Camera Shy' is a relentless, pounding, grinding machine of a song that doesn't let go of your jugular until it's good and ready.  Dolan's songwriting skills are fully evident on 'Disaster Plan' where, despite the bouncing drums and popping bass guitar, you can close your eyes and fully imagine this being picked out furiously on a battered acoustic guitar for a small and intimate audience. Finishing up with 'Words On Walls' which doesn't relent on the furious music combined with melodies and engaging lyrics with are a theme of this short but perfectly formed album. Oxygen Thief is a great vehicle for some vital and vibrant songs that are powerful with electricity running through them but I suspect might be even more forceful played on just an acoustic guitar.


Live Dates:


9th December - The Garage, London w/Jamie Lenman 

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