Music ReviewsRock

CD Review: Birth, School, Oaf, Death by Oaf


With no guitar player and no inhibition, the jazz-punk-prog-grindcore duo Oaf stumble their way out of your headphones like a mangy, howling, overweight mongrel in a circus show. This album is a journey into the gross and obnoxious, with Dom Lawson’s filthy bass tone and horrifying lyrics conjuring and celebrating visions of decay and apathy, while drummer James Rayment keeps you on your toes with rhythms more akin to a progressive jazz troop than a punk rock or extreme metal band. The result is a sound quite unlike anything else out there, that with either repulse you or suck you in with its unapologetic approach. Surprise guest appearances from musicians across the genre spectrum keep you guessing, but you can guarantee that whatever comes next will be sickly and disgusting. It may sound utterly appalling, but it’s put together with a tact and sophistication that keeps Birth, School, Oaf, Death from simply being an exercise in abhorrence. It’s a unique, attention grabbing and highly entertaining release, which reeks of middle age dissent and middle class outrage, and is as classy as it is shameless in its self-deprecation and outspoken hatred of all earthly things.


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Dane Pavitt
As a university fresher in the big world, curiosity brought me to the local rock & metal bar, where for the first time I heard the likes of Metallica, Iron Maiden, Motorhead, Pantera and Slayer. Since then I’ve played as a rock DJ across the midlands, hosted my own radio show, seen dozens of bands at concerts and festivals, and become an entirely better person because of the influence of music, as my library continues to expand and diversify. Other favourites include Black Sabbath, Dio, Queen, David Bowie, The Clash, Sex Pistols, Led Zeppelin, ZZ Top, The Who, Nine Inch Nails, Rammstein, Depeche Mode, The Prodigy, Nightwish, Danzig, Brendon Small, Devin Townsend, Testament, Emperor, Morbid Angel, Napalm Death, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Neil Diamond and countless others, though I’ll listen to anything that sparks an opinion. Cheers and horns up!