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Office of Future Plans

Office of Future Plans Audio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

Price: $13.22 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 11 Songs, 2011 $8.99  
Audio CD, 2011 $13.22  
Vinyl, 2011 $17.44  

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 21, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Dischord
  • ASIN: B005N9EX2O
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,998 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Salamander
2. Lorelei
3. Harden Your Heart
4. Ambitious Wrists
5. The Loyal Opposition
6. Your Several Selves
7. Abandon
8. You're Not Alone
9. The Beautiful Barricades
10. Fema Coffins
11. Dumb It Down
12. Riddle Me This

Editorial Reviews

OFFICE OF FUTURE PLANS was never supposed to get any further than J. ROBBINS hard drive. The songs began as cathartic exercises, cooked up in the singer/guitarist s spare time, with no agenda other than to stay sane by continuing to make music after a lifetime playing and traveling the world in D.C.-based punk-influenced bands (JAWBOX, BURNING AIRLINES). The band was hoodwinked into forming when Chicago punk luminaries, The Bomb, invited Robbins to open their Baltimore show in Fall 2009. Cellist/guitarist GORDON WITHERS (BELLS, PAUSES), bassist/multi-instrumentalist BROOKS HARLAN (AVEC), and drummer DARREN ZENTEK (OSWEGO, KEROSENE 454) were all enlisted for what was supposed to be a one-time, just-for-fun gig. And it was fun. So much so that the band just kept writing and arranging at Robbins' Baltimore recording studio, The Magpie Cage, and committing songs to tape as they came to fruition. The result is a richly textured record, by turns bombastic ( The Beautiful Barricades ), tuneful ( Your Several Selves ) and, sometimes, tastefully psychedelic ( Salamander ). Where Robbins previous groups were frequently lean and economical, OFP draws from a broad instrumental palate sweetening knotty guitar riffs with cello and keyboard melodies. The band name is a nod to Terry Gilliam's black comedy Brazil and Dick Cheney's Office of Special Plans, the government committee whose brief was to provide justification for the invasion of Iraq. The theory being: The blandest and most bureaucratic designations hide the most profound evil. In this sense, if only in nomenclature, OFP are kind of a bizarro metal band for the new century.

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Office of Future Plans full-length delivers December 27, 2011
Format:Audio CD
In the same way that J. Robbins' last project, Channels, put out a shorter release that presaged great things to come ("Open" was the EP, and "Waiting for the Next End of the World" the album), so this new full-length from Office of Future Plans lives up to the promise of the single ("Harden Your Heart") released earlier in the year. (Yes, I realize that was a complicated sentence, but I wanted to jam a lot of information in there.)
At first, the idea that post-punk auteur Robbins was going to include a cello in the line-up sounded gimmicky. Then I remembered back (way back, people) to the first non-Beatles song that caught in my ear: "Little Games" by the Yardbirds, with Jimmy Page on guitar, and hey, look, it's John Paul Jones on the cello. Around the same time, Jack Bruce brought his cello to the last two Cream albums, and John Cale's viola workouts helped raise the Velevet Underground above the level of mere art-noise. The point is, the timbre totally works alongside an electric guitar. And Gordon Withers - who released the "Jawbox on Cello" album a couple years ago - proves to be a most adept foil to Robbins' songwriting and playing.
There are many moments on the album that stand out; this new lineup is nothing if not dynamic. The vocal interplay that adorns the coda on "Salamander" recalls the best of XTC. "Beautiful Barricades" features a lovely keyboard intro before the sonic assault begins (propelled by the ever-thunderous Darren Zentek's drumming), and a broken-rhythm bridge takes the whole thing to a new level. "Abandon" may just be the most gorgeous song Robbins has yet written, a plaintive, soaring melody underscored by delicate acoustic guitar and restrained brush-work from Zentek.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Solid March 20, 2013
Format:MP3 Music|Verified Purchase
First impressions don't mean a lot, but this recalls the lyrically balanced edge of Mr. Robbins' two superb Burning Airlines albums. Lots of good bands like Spoon would be happy to take OOFP's rejects.
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By Francis
Format:Audio CD
Post Channels, J. Robbins hasn't put out a ton of recorded music, so for his die hard fans, anything featuring his snarling, utterly original guitar work - with its criss crossing inside out riffs and melodies, and slashing, beautifully irregular dynamics - would be welcome on my turntable. I'd say this record exceeded my expectations, but my expectations were pretty damn high having seen the band live several times before the record was released. Office of Future Plans' debut full length certainly delivers the goods. The band is not just supporting J's vocals and guitar. Rather, the songs get their power from outstanding instrumental performances from each member. Several of them sound like the product of straight up jamming later formed into complex but free flowing arrangements, something I can't say I'm hearing in a lot of J's other recorded stuff. It doesn't get a lot better or more original than J's guitar playing on this record. His style is not for everyone, but if one likes to be really challenged by a series of notes in a riff, solo, or lead part in the context of a 3 minute song, I'd look no further than J. Robbins' guitar on this album. He's influenced so many for a reason. His singing is quite good here too - there are some choruses that you can really sink your teeth into on this LP.

Brooks Harlan's bass lines on this record are killer - I can't remember a Jawbox bassline that I couldn't get out of my head for days, but several on this record are quite that memorable - most notably from the single "Harden Your Heart.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good album! December 28, 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Well, if you want some original rock, this cd has it. It sports J. Robbins unique style and quality song writing, while throwing a cello in certain songs. Is it my favorite of his albums? No...not yet at least (I have listened to it twice since it hit my door step today), but I suppose it has that potential. I guess I should say it took a week and a half to get the damn thing, so that was kind of off-putting. If it becomes my favorite I'll update my review.
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