Office of Future Plans was never supposed to get any further than J.Robbins’ hard drive.
The songs began as cathartic exercises, cooked up in the singer/guitarist’s spare time, with no agenda other than to stay
sane by continuing to make music after a lifetime playing and traveling the world in D.C.-based punk-influenced bands
(Jawbox, Burning Airlines).
The band was hoodwinked into forming when Chicago punk luminaries, The Bomb, invited Robbins to open their
Baltimore show in Fall 2009. Cellist/guitarist Gordon Withers (Bells, The Pauses, known to many as “The Jawbox-oncello-
guy”), bassist/multi-instrumentalist Brooks Harlan (Avec), and drummer Darren Zentek (Oswego, Kerosene 454)
were all enlisted for what was supposed to be a one-time, just-for-fun gig.
And it was fun. So much so that the band just kept writing and arranging at Robbins' Baltimore recording studio, The
Magpie Cage, and committing songs to tape as they came to fruition.
The result is a richly textured record, by turns bombastic (“The Beautiful Barricades”), tuneful (“Your Several Selves”)
and, sometimes, tastefully psychedelic (“Salamander”). Where Robbins’ previous groups were frequently lean and economical,
OFP draws from a broad instrumental palate – sweetening knotty guitar riffs with cello and keyboard melodies.
The band name is a nod to Terry Gilliam's black comedy Brazil and Dick Cheney's Office of Special Plans, the government
committee whose brief was to provide justification for the invasion of Iraq. The theory being: The blandest and
most bureaucratic designations hide the most profound evil. In this sense, if only in nomenclature, OFP are kind of a
bizarro metal band for the new century.