This is a review of "Zeros & Ones / What Jim Hears" recorded by O Fracas. The review was written by Lauren Strain in 2005.
O Fracas are not a band for lazy, sleepy dossers yawning languorously in their putrefying rooms, slowly drawing on the ashen remains of a cigarette, leafing idly through a chewed magazine and half-heartedly flipping a coin to decide whether or not they can quite be bothered enough to go for a shower. O Fracas are not a band for mortifyingly-suited, vacuous voids of businessmen walking with blank-eyed stares down the civic quarters of a city, ‘listening’ to distant, nondescript sounds filtering through their fashion-statement MP3 players, floating about in their own stuffy, internal worlds of cocktails and pound-signs.
O Fracas are a band for those of you prepared to shoot to your feet as though a white-hot rod has just been inserted up that white knobbly thing at the core of your central nervous system (spine), spit and polish your shoes at ultra speed in preparation for serious bouts of scuffing, pull on your snappiest-coloured togs, pressed for the occasion, and hop about; erratically, emphatically and as though your life depends on it.
These four obscenely young lads weld together an amalgam of hexagonal, octagonal, everything-agonal shapes of clear, crisp musical compartments, still smarting from recent plunges into huge vats of corrosive acid. These odds and ends are positioned, angled and glued into place with the help of some boggling numerical formulae to construct big, pointed objects of sound. Somewhere amidst this intensely-electrified organised chaos you will fine A Tune; and, for their debut release, Ben, Alex, Jim and Tom have presented us with two of the most startling, nugget-sized blasts of frenetic melodics you are likely to have heard/hear all year.
‘Zeroes And Ones’ opens with a bewildering head-on crash of zigzagging Rickenbacker, Ben’s slightly-irate yet soft-edged voice chugging between chants of iconic, splattered lyrics and quiet mutters concerning ‘robots’ and other such secretive whisperings. The throttle is (dis)engaged fully once more for ‘What Jim Hears’, a blistering pizzazz of stamping, stomping build-ups and burning guitars tumbling down chains of chord changes. Always keeping just to the left of flying off the handle, the tracks threaten to fling themselves into disarray at any second but don’t; these are clever, refined creations with huge dollops of pure fun thrown in that the artful dodger would beam about.
Astoundingly, within the miniscule total running time of 6:23, the boys also find room for a stretch of ‘oohs’, many complete turnabouts in direction and velocity, sparkly outros and quiet sections of ambience, plus wonderfully-odd wordage about binary codes to yell out with utter glee. In short; perfection.