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Copacetic Zine Review 'Oppenheimer'

'Fuzzed-out guitars, and breathy, youthful vocals'

Oppenheimer is a duo of synthesizer-loving Belfast boys united in the creation of earnest electro-pop. Here on their debut CD, you'll hear plenty of Casios and other low-tech keyboards that might take you back to the heyday of Atari (if you're old like me) or make you wonder if they're using the preprogrammed rhythm-section bits in a couple of places.

The boys combine these sounds with mostly live drums, occasionally fuzzed-out guitars, and breathy, youthful vocals. Oppenheimer sometimes approaches the glittery party-pop of U.S.E., especially when they break out the vocoder on tracks like "Time Loss/Gain" and the cheekily-titled "Saturday Looks Bad to Me."

There are quieter, tender parts too—like on "When I Close My Eyes I Fall in Love" and "Allen Died, April Five"—and the intro to "Nine Words" sounds like something from a "drum-n-bliss" release on Darla Records circa 1998.

Tim Wheeler of Ash makes a guest vocal appearance on the track "Orchid," and the contrast of his vocals with Oppenheimer singer/drummer Shaun Robinson highlights that Robinson's naive delivery, while charming, could stand a bit more depth. The same could be said for the album as a whole: it's pretty and shiny on the vine (and the sleeve art is fantastic), but the band is still not quite ripe yet.

- Mike, Copacetic Zine