Review Summary: A very mature debut from a Belgian band that called it quits after just one record.
Officer Jones And His Patrol Car Problems (OJAHPCP from now on) was a band from Belgium. Their cd ‘Memorial’ was released by a small Dutch independent record company, Isclear Records, in 2005. Which is probably a reason why not a lot of people have heard of them. Looking at the band name and song titles like ‘Unless Bonnie And Clyde Are Robbing A Bank Let The Other Guys Roll On It’, you can see that this band has a sense of humour. And bands that think they’re funny don’t always take their music very serious. That is not the case here. This band took everything they had and poured it into this one album.
OJAHPCP play metalcore. The metalcore they play is Botch, Keelhaul, Dillinger Escape Plan metalcore. Oldschool metalcore mixed with mathcore and post-hardcore. The first 30 seconds of ‘Memorial’ are filled with a sample of a someone getting into a police car and receiving a call. After that a Keelhaul style riff comes in and starts a 9 song 35 minute rollercoaster ride through a metalcore amusement park.
This album has technical riffing, brutal breakdowns, tempo changes, odd-meters, clean parts that create an Cult-of-Luna-like atmosphere, movie-samples that add to the music and a singer with a serious grit in his voice. The only comment I have here is that he sounds more deathmetal than metalcore. But to me that just sounds great with the brutal riffs these guys play. The only time this album gives you a rest is during the two minutes of ‘Amos Cross’, which gives you the feeling you’re standing in a large abandoned warehouse with machine noises coming in from the distance. When you’re finally at ease with that sound OJAHPCP tear into, what is arguably the best song of the record, ‘Gunrunner’. A song that starts like a huge Cult of Luna like ‘ballad’, constantly throws you of guard using mathcore and hardcore riffs, and turns the volume down just for a minute before ending with these epic chords. The moment it’s over and you want time to think about what you’ve just experienced, they turn on the steamroller that is ‘Thieves On S.Alcaniz’ and leave you on the floor, ears bleeding.
It still surprises me that this is their debut album. This sounds like a band who are very experienced, an experience I associate with a second or third album. This is not only audible in the songs but also in the production. ‘Memorial’ sounds really good. Think Keelhaul’s ‘Subject to Change without Notice’, add a bit more bass and you’ll have a good idea how great this album sounds.
‘Memorial’, a title that couldn’t be more fitting as this would be all they would release before they called it quits. If you have the opportunity to pick this up, do it, you won’t be disappointed.