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...
111119   Philip Thomas - Morton Feldm...
111119   Catherine Lamb - Point/Wave
081119   Llyn Y Cwn - Twll Du
081119   Birdy - Birdy(Blu Ray)
071119   Rothko - Refuge For Abandoned...
061119   Drifting In Silence - Away
061119   Chier/ Cannibal Ritual - Gru...
061119   Berserker - Berserker( Blu Ra...
061119   The Pink Ladies - The Pink La...
061119   Pledge Night - Pledge Night(B...
Latest Articles

Museum Of Death - Death-Tripping
Here at M[m] we cover a fair bit of extreme fair- be it sonically, visually, or thematically. And one of the most used themes to shock has always been death-...
291019   Museum Of Death - Death-Tripping
250919   Vomir - Completely ‘Walled-In’
160919   Kat Ellinger - The Many Colou...
040919   The Early Years Of Allerseele...
240819   Leyland James Kirby (The Care...
060819   Stevan Mena - A Cut Above The...
280619   Michael Ridge - From Tools O...
250619   Merzbow/ Merzbow & Balazs Pan...
110619   Elsewhere Music label intervi...
170419   Damien De Coene - Pedal Chai...
Go Up
(c) Musique Machine 2001 -2017. Celebrating 16 years of true independence!! Mail Us at questions=at=musiquemachine=dot=comBottom