Oberhofer aren’t really a band. Although technically there are four members, Oberhofer are the brain child of Brad Oberhofer (makes sense really doesn’t it?). Applauded for his age by many, 20 is hardly young in music terms. Especially to write an album as simplistic as this. ‘Time Capsules II’ lacks a maturity to turn its tweeness into something more enjoyable. Another thing that annoyed me is that I don’t understand why anyone would name an album Time Capsules II. I mean what happened to the first time capsule?
At the beginning of ‘Time Capsules II’, if one is feeling quite good natured, it is not bad. Yes the songs are very twee but its all fine, maybe the album will mix it up later on, a bit of twee here and there never did anyone any harm. But my goodness as you continue to listen to Oberhofer the songs become hip and annoying and grating. Jangly guitar lines spin before your eyes, you get that feeling where you want to rip your headphones out of your ears/break your speakers (depending on how you’re listening to the album). ‘Cruisin’ down FDR’ is probably the most pointless , ridiculous song I have listened to this year.
Saying all that, there are moments of genuine enjoyment on this album, ‘Haus’ and ‘HEART’ being the two best examples. ‘Haus’ flits from verse to verse with no obvious direction but it is the change from ‘indie by numbers’ which marks it out. Opener ‘HEART’ features some real emotion as Brad murmurs ‘you gave me your love/then you ripped me apart’. When some emotional depth is found here and there, the songs actually become more than pointless fodder.
It is by no means time to give up on Oberhofer. I am fully in confidence that they have the ability to do what a number of other twee bands have done (Noah and the Whale, Los Campesinos!) and tweak their sound . Then they will be cruisin’ in the right direction.