Punknews.org
Office of Future Plans - Office of Future Plans (Cover Artwork)

Office of Future Plans

Office of Future Plans: Office of Future PlansOffice of Future Plans (2011)
Dischord Records

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: JeloneJelone
(others by this writer | submit your own)

J. Robbins is a consistent songwriter. From Jawbox to Burning Airlines to Channels, the guy has reliably turned out alt-rock that covers a lot of bases without overextending itself. Sometimes he goes for riff-rock, or math-rock, or post-hardcore. But even going as far back as his time with Governmen.
iTunes StoreAmazon


J. Robbins is a consistent songwriter. From Jawbox to Burning Airlines to Channels, the guy has reliably turned out alt-rock that covers a lot of bases without overextending itself. Sometimes he goes for riff-rock, or math-rock, or post-hardcore. But even going as far back as his time with Government Issue, Robbins has shown a knack for melody that gives his songs a certain amount of popular appeal. He's an indie icon for sure, but in an alternate universe, he's an upper tier legend for sure.

With a family life and a production career firmly in place, Robbins doesn't necessarily need to keep writing music. Indeed, after Channels' 2006 effort Waiting For the Next End of the World, it seemed like Robbins was done. But here we are, five years later, with Robbin's latest group, Office of Future Plans. In many ways, the group feels of a piece with its frontman's discography. Heck, Channels drummer Darren Zentek is even back behind the kit. But there are certain flourishes that make the record stand out.

For starters, there's cellist/guitarist Gordon Withers. He actually recorded a cello tribute to Jawbox a few years ago; now he's in a band with Robbins. Talk about a dream job. But Withers pulls his weight, whether its lending some atmosphere on songs like "Your Several Selves" or adding extra weight to rockers like "The Beautiful Barricades," Withers is a welcome addition. While his cello is generally kept to the background, much like Cursive's <>Domestica and Ugly Organ records, there are certain moments that just absolutely demand this extra instrumentation.

Office of Future Plans also carries a slightly more psychedelic quality compared to Burning Airlines or Jawbox. It's in the way the songs head for spacey territory where once Robbins would simply shred. The occasionally warped effects on the vocals. The mere addition of atmospheric elements. These things make Office of Future Plans stand out.

While it's not the best work Robbins has produced--that Jawbox run is unimpeachable--Office of Future Plans proves that the master is still motivated. Sure, the record repeats some of Robbins's tendencies as a songwriter, but this is still top-notch post-hardcore masked as alt-rock.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Jawbreaker - 24 Hour Revenge TherapyJawbreaker - Dear YouHot Water Music - The Fire, The Steel, The Tread / Adds Up to NothingRefused - The Shape of Punk to ComePaint It Black - New LexiconSmoke or Fire - The SpeakeasyBomb the Music Industry! - VacationRival Schools - PedalsMaritime - Human HeartsWild Flag - Wild Flag

Please login or register to post comments.What are the benefits of having a Punknews.org account?
  • Share your opinion by posting comments on the stories that interest you
  • Rate music and bands and help shape the weekly top ten
  • Let Punknews.org use your ratings to help you find bands and albums you might like
  • Customize features on the site to get the news the way you want.
Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
krankykirk (November 25, 2011)

wait wait. is there cello on domestica? i thought they added cello right after that album. could be wrong though.

EchosMyron (November 22, 2011)

Not bad, but I prefer Joe Lally's most recent solo album (also released on Dischord this year).

Huffy (November 22, 2011)

I can see why bringing up kim seems random. I did because of my recent revisit of sweetheart and not remembering how special she was in jawbox. Re Joe Lally- hell effing yeah! I was thinking more in terms of contemporary bassists but Joe deserves his due. They don't make bassists like he and Kim anymore.

killtaker (November 22, 2011)

Not saying she wasn't a big part of Jawbox but no more than Zach on drums and definately not more than Bill on second vocals and guitar.
I also have no idea why you would lament her not being in this band...why would she be?

Comparable bassist: Joe Lally from Fugazi.

Huffy (November 22, 2011)

Kim Colletas bass playing was super distinctive and so prominently placed in the mix that it was such an integral part of jawbox's songs. I listened to Sweetheart for the first time in some years recently and was blown away by her contribution particularly. Name a comparable bassist in punk. Sadly for me she's now teaching elementary school but probably a good thing for those kids.

maverick (November 22, 2011)

This record rules. Better than anything Channels or Burning Airlines ever did, and it's up there with the best Jawbox records, in my opinion.

-Scott

killtaker (November 22, 2011)

Kim Colleta hasn't made music with J. for 15 years or so (and wasn't nearly the creative force in Jawbox that J. or Bill were). I love Burning Airlines and Jawbox are probably in my top 10 ever so I will be getting this.

"In many ways, the group feels of a piece with its frontman’s discography." Am I missing something here? Not sure what this means.

Huffy (November 22, 2011)

Curious to hear this even though sadly Kim Colleta isn't involved. Nice review although there was no cello on Domestica which was released before Greta joined the band. She joined after they recorded the Burst and Bloom ep which did include some slight cello overdubs which were added prior to its release. Blah blah...

MichaelConway (November 22, 2011)

The Channels record was awesome, can't wait to hear this!

Exclusive Streams

Newest Reviews

Punknews.org Team

Other Places to Go