So, the members of Oxford Collapse wear skinny jeans – this surprised me. Mainly because they seem to, or at least their music seems to, elude trends. The Brooklyn pop-punk band has a sound reminiscent of the early days of “alternative” and college rock. The trio plays clever, angular hooks while swapping singing & yelling duties. They clearly have a “fuck it” attitude, but I’m not exactly sure whether or not that conflicts with, or supports the wearing of skinny jeans. I would assume that comfort would go along with such an attitude, and comfort does not seem to be present while wearing skinny jeans.
Beyond their fashion, Oxford Collapse were able to overcome noticeably absent song elements to do what they do best, excite the crowd with energy and raucous. Remember the Night Parties favorite “Molasses” was missing its flute, and 7” “Spike of Bensonhurst” was not possible without a piano (nor “Kenny Can’t Afford It,” songs off their new album Bits (SubPop), however, lost nothing live.
“That was our new hit single,” Michael Pace announced jokingly after “The Birthday Wars.” The night was filled with quips. At one point Pace bent down to play directly in the face of a audience member who had decided to use the stage as a seat. “Make yourself comfortable,” he said half-sarcastically, “have a seat.”
Although opening for fellow Brooklynites, We Are Scientists, Oxford Collapse managed to gain and hold audience interest seldom seen for openers. Pulling evenly from Bits and their past four albums, they correctly and predictably saved “Please Visit Your National Parks” to end their set – a song, along with “Lady Lawyers,” which does not disappoint. Expectations were meant, save for the skinny jeans.