steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion


"Greetings from Cydonia" CDR


Genre: indie rock, surf rock

Aug 14 2008

According to Wikipedia, an "OOPArt" is an "out-of-place artifact," something of historical interest found in a historically impossible context. One real-life example is an iron nail dated before the dawn of man. How this relates to the off-kilter surf-cum-punk rock sound of this Italian band is up to interpretation, although this is certainly one of the more intriguing discs I've received from the country.

The first thing I noticed about the distinctly self-produced Greetings from Cydonia CDR is its similarity to a couple of bands on Danish label Crunchy Frog, particularly Tothe International and Dureforsog. Oopart exude energy, although they are also competent pop songwriters; the hooks of "Sad Awake" and "Ticket to Cydonia" take a couple of listens to make themselves known, but stick when they do. The vocals are sung in English, but are somewhat accented, which adds a distinct novelty to the high-octane yell-singing Oopart engage in. The music is a strange brew of punk fieriness and surf-rock melody, making for a jumpy amalgam of sounds. A personal favourite is the absolutely rollicking "Unsolved," which boasts a mesmerizing chorus and a sublimely spasmodic song structure. Credit must also be given to the three brief interludes that segregate the tracks on this record; despite the often throwaway nature of such musical exercises, Oopart has crafted true mood-setters with these clips. Oddly enough, the weakest part of Greetings is the tiresome opening track, a passionate but too-simple ode to Japanese girls.

I will admit, given the amateur cover art of this brief CDR release, I wasn't expecting much from Oopart. However, in twenty minutes they've convinced me that CDs shouldn't be judged by their covers and that Italian bands can kick serious ass. Although Greetings From Cydonia may be too lo-fi for some, Oopart shows unquestionable potential here and should not be ignored.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 8 tracks, 21:30, distributed by the band, released 2008]