Abi Ooze - RIP [EP] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Abi Ooze

RIP [EP] (2021)

Ketchup and Mustard

RIP The title of Abi Ooze’s newest release suggests that it’s the last in the line of the Abi Ooze project. If it is indeed the end, that’s sad as the latest release really does have some real power, but at least it’s a high note. Since the dissolution of Philly’s Posers a number of years ago, singer Jade morphed into Abi Ooze and has been quietly releasing cassettes here and there, with no social media presence whatsoever.

The goal might be to let the art speak for itself and it does. About half the tracks on RIP have been released on other Abi Ooze tapes, but here, the recordings are cleaning and the presentations are sharper. “I'm not the one,” now called “INTO” has been morphed from a melancholy lament to an upbeat, almost new wave bop- though, the lyrics remain deceptively dark despite the bright sound. The same can be said of “IBrat” which is sped up some to the point where there is some early Devo or Essential Logic type spazz attack.

Yet, the new tracks give greater depth to the Abi Ooze’s presence than her earlier tapes. Her craft is growing for sure. “The plumber and the dancer” has a sort of college rock, almost neo paisley underground drift while Abi Ooze reflects from within. Really, it’s masterful song construction and earnest emotion, which, in another era, could have been a huge radio hit. I’m not sure if the fact that “Tat” would have been a million seller in other worlds but isn’t here, is a comfort or a slight in Abi’s eyes.

Abi Ooze’s releases seem to be growing more and more elusive with each new entry- to the point that even if you somehow know about them, you can’t find them. I’m not sure if that signals the end of the line, or the respite before a new blossom. The music here suggests that it’s the latter. Let’s hope that’s the case.