Top Bar
Musique Machine Logo Home ButtonReviews ButtonArticles ButtonBand Specials ButtonAbout Us Button
SearchGo Down
Search for  
With search mode in section(s)
And sort the results by
show articles written by  
 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Officer! - Earlier Music [Klanggalerie - 2018]

Earlier Music is a collection of material from the early 1980s recorded by Officer!- the decidedly wonky & sonically unwell British project helmed by Mick Hobbs( Half Japanese). The CD offers up twenty tracks in all- these move from unbalanced singer-songwriter fare, very off-kilter 80’s pop, unhinged folk rock, world music touches, and generally avant tinged genre blending. The release appeared late last year on Austrian experimental music label Klanggalerie, who in the past have reissued works by the likes of The Residents, Renaldo And The Loaf, and Un Drame Musical Instantané- so it’s the perfect label for this release.

I only have very,very vague memories of the band Half Japanese- and these where neither negative, or positive really. What pulled me into this release was reading the product description on Klanggalerie webpage, and playing the samples there.  And I must say it really topped my expectations- this is classic wonky & unwell songwriting of the classic kind- mixing together often amusing & embittered with life lyrics- with off-kilter, just off-key, and un-harmonically bent music backing- all topped off with an often very British feel & sentiment.

Seemingly Officer! existented on & off from the early 1980s to the early 1990’s- with Mick Hobbs the only constant, he was joined by a revolving line-up that took in the likes of Antoine Gindt, Bill Gilonis(The Work), Daniel Koskowitz(Hellebore), & Patrick Q-Wright. The material on this CD, as its title suggests, is from early on in the band's career. Taking in two releases- 1983’s 8 New Songs & 1985’s Rough. With the twenty tracks each running between a minute & five-minute mark- with a total CD runtime of fifty-nine minutes.


Proceedings open in fine wonky 'n' manic form with the just under a minute of “Join The AA”- which sees clip, clop & bash blend percussion & roughly twanging guitar, all topped with Hobbs vocals which sounds like a speeding Syd Barret. As we move through the disc we come to “Way” with its Off-colour blend of horn & piano fairground pomp, topped with wailing/ pained sing song joint male vocals. Then there’s roughly jigging & earthy folk of “Kalenda Maya”- with droning strings, jointing penny whistle & waving female chanted vocals. Or much latter the snapping percussion, haphazard piano jiving, & wondering male vocals of “Boxers Vs Wrestler”- which from time to time stops for weird spoken word punch-lines.  Really it’s a release that wonders all over the musical map in such haphazard  & wonderful glee.

I must say I was very much taken by Earlier Music, and I think if you enjoy odd & wonky song-writing that liberally darts all over the music map, the you will too. Let's hope Klanggalerie reissue some more of Officer!’s back-catalogue down the line.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Roger Batty
Latest Reviews

Officer! - Earlier Music
Earlier Music is a collection of material from the early 1980s recorded by Officer!- the decidedly wonky & sonically unwell British project hel...
051222   Christoph Dahlberg - Blackforms
051222   Richard Pinhas/ Merzbow - Coda
051222   Death Loop Faction - Max Carnage
051222   Opus Magorum - Opus Magorum
041222   RJ Myato - Doubtless Empty
021222   Ingar Zach - Musica Liquida
021222   Mattie Barbier - Threads
021222   Marcia Aitken & June Lodge - ...
021222   Arkheth - Clarity Came With A...
011222   Colossloth - Promethean Meat
Latest Articles

Dr Tom Whittaker - The notoriou...
Late last year Severin released Eloy de la Iglesia’s Quinqui Collection- a two Blu-ray set bringing together three brutal and provocative Quinqui (deli...
061222   Dr Tom Whittaker - The noto...
231122   Hastings of Malawi - Deliriou...
011122   Raffaele Pezzella - Pursuing ...
111022   Fouke - Bigfoot walled noise
150922   Joe Sherlock - The King of mo...
230822   Sdug Bsngal - Some Scars Run ...
020822   The Night Porter & Slowgurn p...
200622   The Worse Album In The World ...
240522   Noir On Powerhouse Films - Fr...
260422   Schloss Tegal - Back To The ...
Go Up
(c) Musique Machine 2001 -2017. Celebrating 16 years of true independence!! Mail Us at questions=at=musiquemachine=dot=comBottom