FAME Review: Oppenheimer - This Racket Takes its Toll
Oppenheimer - This Racket Takes its Toll

This Racket Takes its Toll


Bar None Records - BRN CR 216

Available from Amazon.com.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker

Oppenheimer's latest, This Racket Takes its Toll, isn't really their new CD, it's a swan song. The group has been dead for three years now but had a cache of material that it deemed would've been a waste to ignore. They were quite right in that, as the very first track shows what an effusive pop band they were, bounding back and forth between sweetsy refrains and power chords but always with an irresistible infectiousness, the very thing that attracted They Might be Giants to second-bill 'em during a tour. It's really hard to pass by such upbeat material as it drills its way into your head via pounding rhythms and hazy dreamstates.

As the band itself writes, love is the gateway drug, but that's cause for much happiness, and so this narcotic CD may be the preferred way to ponder the mystery. Part Buggles, Mission UK, Kraftwerk, Gary Numan, and the gaggle of electro-popsters, Oppenheimer, consisting only of Rocky O'Reilly and Shaun Robinson, is one way to find the mid-point between Trevor Horn and The Sweet, landing on a homeground fairly unique. Be sure, however, to add a 20-pound bag of confectioner's sugar atop. "Won't work!" you say? To the contrary, and that's what attracts listeners like a magnet. It shouldn't work as well as it does, but, lord, I was surprised to find myself as instantly fond of their material as I had been in recently glomming Keane's. I mean, this stuff is just ridiculously cool, larded up with innocence, bombast, and a surprisingly sophisticated armada of effects and compositional strengths. Back in the day, they woulda accompanied Tyrannosaurus Rex, World of Oz, H.P. Lovecraft, and other unconventional bands and woulda had to hire in bandmates to do so 'cause there's no way on Earth this could be pulled off live……or could it???

Hmmm, now I'm gonna hafta check out those affairs with TMBG.

Track List:

  • Opp Ex Machina
  • Hearts Don't Listen
  • 42nd Century
  • It's Just the Drink Talking
  • Songs in Semaphore
  • Single Syllable Colours
  • Let's Get the Hell Out of Texas
  • Earlybird School
  • Meet Me in the City
  • Truth or Dare
  • Getting By
  • Straight Out of Comp'in'
  • Song for G
  • We Ride Invisible Rollercoasters
All songs written by Oppenheimer.

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2012, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
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