Arts Desk

One Track Mind: Office of Future Plans, “Solipsist”

Standout Track: Side A, “Solipsist,” a new Office of Future Plans song from a forthcoming split 7-inch on Lovitt Records with French band Daria. The chipper midtempo number builds in tension but cleverly refuses to explode. Driven by Brooks Harlan’s throbbing bass and J. Robbins’ angular guitar riffs, “Solipsist” is pretty perky for a song about a fast-arriving capitalist dystopia in which we could all find ourselves wearing vibrating underwear. Yes, pulsating undies. And here we thought the Mormons had it bad.

Musical Motivation: Robbins says “Solipsist” was inspired by a real project called the Sentient City Survival Kit. “With the advance of technology,” he says, “someday the stores you pass will have RFID chips that read the information in your wallet. The song’s about this capitalist totalitarian nightmare we could be entering, where in your waking life you’re being led along in a corporate-directed dream.” When you’re scanned by a chip, a detector in your underwear “gives you a little zap.” But it’s just a song, he says, and “you’ll hear it and think, ‘These guys really like Siouxsie and the Banshees.’” (They do.)

We’re an American Band: Robbins says the band is made up of musical omnivores, but it borrows elements from Killing Joke and Gang of Four especially. Asked which song by another artist he most wishes he’d written, Robbins doesn’t hesitate: “Any song on XTC’s Black Sea.” But those are all English groups; what about American bands like Grand Funk Railroad? Robbins laughs. “I think our drummer has a cowbell somewhere. We’ll hook it up.”

Listen to "Solipsist" after the jump. Note: This track will go offline Saturday, March 2.

Office of Future Plans plays a 7-inch release show at Black Cat on March 8.

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