Oppenheimer Top AU's 'Top 10 Most Wanted 2007'

'Whether you have a penchant for punk, dance or indie-rock it is nigh on impossible not to succumb to the intoxicating pop-tronica of Oppenheimer'


Members – Rocky O’Reilly (guitar, vocoder vox, keys, mac), Shaun Robinson (vox, drums, guitar, airhorn)

Formation – 2004, Belfast

For Fans of – The Postal Service, Stereolab, Datarock

Key Release – Oppenheimer (Bar/None)



– 2004, Belfast– The Postal Service, Stereolab, Datarock– Oppenheimer (Bar/None)

Weblink – www.myspace.com/oppenheimer


  • Currently on tour Stateside and Canada with ‘Birdhouse In Your Soul’ legends, They Might Be Giants.
  • "This Is Not A Test" featured on Ugly Betty episode 'Secretaries' Day'.
  • Tim Wheeler of Ash provided vocals for debut album track "Orchid". Matt Caughtran of The Bronx to guest on much anticipated sophomore album.
  • The Skibunny remix of "Breakfast In NYC" was used by Nike online and at Australian Fashion Week in Sydney.
  • Robinson and O'Reilly were previously members of the now disbanded Belfast group, Torgas Valley Reds.

Their songs are effervescent and utterly captivating, their live shows an exuberant communion between audience and band. Little wonder then Oppenheimer blasted their way to the top of our up-and-coming Irish bands poll.

The music fashioned by Rocky O’Reilly and Shaun Robinson is singular in sound, yet widespread in appeal. Whether you have a penchant for punk, dance or indie-rock it is nigh on impossible not to succumb to the intoxicating pop-tronica of Oppenheimer. The pandemic-like quality of their music was reflected in a rash of high-placed appearances in our pollster’s lists. And whilst, to date, Oppenheimer have been a cherished cult rather than chart-bothering act, they possess distinct crossover potential. Such appeal has been noted by a slew of advertisers, with Fuji Film amongst those keen to co-opt some of their bliss-inducing brilliance.

Oppenheimer’s instinctive songwriting ability is matched only by their dedication. Since their live debut in late 2004 the duo has been tirelessly building momentum, gigging, rehearsing and recording non-stop. Consequently they have made the transition from feted Northern Irish circuit act to touring Stateside and across Europe, playing major festivals home and abroad, from Electric Picnic in Stradbally to South By South West in Austin, Texas.

Signed to über-hip American label, Bar/None, the band’s eponymous debut, was released in the US in 2006 and enjoyed a UK release the following year on Smalltown America Records. Ripe with melody and brilliantly crafted, this was an album you wanted to gorge yourself on time and again. It reaped rich praise from critics and rightly so. A second album is scheduled for an early 2008 release. If it can break the band from the margins into the mainstream remains to be seen. However, were such things decided on the basis of ability and application Oppenheimer would already be there.

"This honour, not to mention all the other amazing things that have happened to Oppenheimer, they can be hard to comprehend. I feel we’ve been incredibly fortunate. To think that people hold us in such high esteem is absolutely humbling. We can only take it as an indication that we’re doing the right thing, and endeavour to keep going and keep working hard." -Rocky O’Reilly

"The first time I saw Oppenheimer live, I was dazzled by the buzzing, crashing energy of it all. For me, it sounded like the glass case of daft Trilby-music being smashed to bits by a Moog. It's clear as day that making music means everything to them. There are more breezy melodic ideas in thirty effortless seconds from Oppenheimer than most bands muster in a career and I suppose that's ultimately what I love about them. It's pretty simple: they write incredible, imaginative songs. The best Irish band in years." - Stephen McCauley (Presenter of BBC’s Electric Mainline radioshow)

- David McLaughlin, Alternative Ulster