Oxygen Thief - 'Destroy It Yourself' (Broken Tail Records) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Craggy   
Monday, 30 May 2011 05:30

oxygen-thief-albumBristol's Oxygen Thief, aka Barry Dolan, is a largely solo acoustic performer whose interesting style thankfully takes him away from being the next "folk" act, and avoids that most idiotic of monikers - "singer/songwriter". So don't expect his music to be gracing any annoying car or mobile phone adverts anytime soon (although never say never I guess), but instead expect something a little bit different from one man and his guitar.


'Destroy It Yourself' is the Thief's debut album, and is a follow up to 2009's split EP 'Exclamation At Asterisk Hash', which he shared with Jim Lockey and Ben Marwood. 'DIY' is a raucous acoustic punk album, but the intensity and freshness of it, coupled with a desire to make song subjects interesting (note the titles 'Terry Nutkins Salute' and 'Disaster Plan/Greater Aberystwyth'), make sure that the album commands an individual personality. This marriage of humour with an awareness of a local reality is what really captures the punk ethic.

But it's not just punk that is evident here, and this is what makes it fresh and modern. Tracks such as 'Modesty' and 'Makoto Nagano' are positively metal. It just happens that the band fucked off and left him with nothing but an acoustic. A mixture of style or interest, if not always directly the music, is often recognisable in Oxygen Thief, capturing 70s punk ethics of bands such as the Sex Pistols or the Damned, along with comparisons of more recent folk punkers such as Frank Turner, make Oxygen Thief a somewhat hardcore John Cooper Clarke.


Oxygen Thief is highly active on the live scene so if you fancy something a little more interesting than your average acoustic night you'd do a lot worse than catching this guy.