Album Review: Dead About Thinking by Okay Champ

Okay, I’ve been listening to this album a lot in the last few weeks and every time I do I think to myself… why the hell do I like it so much? If you were to put it on some sort of sonic continuum with everything else on this site it would definitely be an outlier. Possibly the closest to it would be Wooden Indian Burial Ground since both have that sort of self-deprecating and laconic dry wit coupled with a kind of joie de vivre that does not give the music any side.

There is also a hefty slab of ‘I don’t give a shit’ to this album that sets it aside from much of the dense and serious stuff that I usually listen to… this is perhaps an album to listen to when the old black dog is barking at the door rather than being its own doom-laden chew toy.

This album could also be described as ‘post-punk’ which got me thinking just how ‘post’ can post-punk be. Certainly you can talk about relating to the music of the late 1970s and early ’80s onwards, and there is some of that here too. Arguably there were Doors influences being picked up at that time… and there are here as well. OK, what I am trying to say here? Perhaps in a not altogether elegant way, I’m thinking that we are far too far past post-punk to be calling something that, and actually what this album is is the mix of styles that post-punk was, but with so much more layered on top.

I’ve taken you through that rather tortuous process because that’s kind of how I’ve been listening to ‘Dead About Thinking’, because as you listen to it you come up with all sorts of competing ideas about what you think it might be. The post-punk thing hit me first because that seemed obvious… but that’s perhaps ultimately lazy. I also got some Ramones in the way that the lyrics were pitched, particularly on the opening track ‘The Party’s Over (Goodbye Yellow Brick Road)’.

…and actually that track title in itself is indicative of what Okay Champ are… you think Talk Talk and you think Elton John, and you start thinking how they belong together. Similarly there is so much going on here below what on the face of it feels quite simple, that it become more and more surprising as you delve down into it.

More than this, however, it tells you not to take yourself so seriously… and I often do take my music far too seriously… just lighten up and enjoy it. Okay, I will and just say that this album is an absolute blast… a blast of fresh air… but also an album that blasts melody and cacophony. Hell after all that I’ve not idea what it is. But I like it!

‘Dead About Thinking’ ism available now from Dirty Filthy Records here.



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