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Officer! – “Ossification” – [Megaphone Records]

Thurston Hunger   6/6/2014   12-inch, A Library

officer_ossificiation
So happy to see this recently, 30 years gone from the original
1984 release, and admittedly a peculiar cup of tea. A wordy
gurdy quaint and quirky brew as could only come out of the
UK. Mick Hobbs is apparently the corner keystone kop, but
the brigade here includes much of the Family Fodder family,
Mr and Mrs Tom Cora, and a holy Henry Cow. The music can
range from art rock w/ faux opera vocals, to a kind of
skiffle chamber music to folk music on the fritz to songs
for senile children? The words unite these songs, scribble
scrawled inside…even the title speaks to a sort of Spoonerism
slip. Was it just yesterday, yesterweak, yesteryear that
you called your cats “Dogface.” I wonder of “Anagrams”
is really just a set of lyrics scrambled, but there’s
a pleasant sort of logic to it. I guess “Boxers v Wrestlers”
is a confrontational as it gets, but even that is just a
lark. Listen to this like a jigsaw puzzle, spend time
being amazed by the individual pieces, the lyrics, the
strings, the sweetened vocals. Catherine Jauniaux offers
“Telepathy” while Judy Carter offers insincere sympathy
on “Hello” to a singer/speaker whose a bit too open and
honest on responding to pleasant inquiries. Hobbs plugs
in plenty of wonder throughout this, clever endeavours
and even a touch of amour, not strictly for “Spitters.”
So great that Jason Willet found a way to reissue this.
Records are made to be played, and this one is ever
playful.
-Thurston Hunger

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