Oppenheimer is an indie pop electronica band from Belfast, Northern Ireland. The band is made up of musicians Shaun Robinson and Rocky O'Reilly. Robinson and O'Reilly were previously members of the now disbanded Belfast group, Torgas Valley Reds. They met in 2003, in Belfast. O'Reilly had been mixing sound and recording Torgas Valley Reds, whom Robinson drummed for. Inspired by their mutual love for Moog synthesizers, vocorders, and airhorns, O'Reilly and Robinson formed Oppenheimer in late 2004, using O'Reilly's spare room to record 3 songs, which they sent to their favourite labels.
The group's self-titled debut album was released on Bar/None Records in America in July 2006, Shock Records in Australia and Fabtone Records in Japan. It has since been released in the UK via Smalltown America in March 2007, with the initial pressing selling out and currently being re-pressed. It includes a cover of 'Don't Call Me' by Belfast songwriter Tom McShane.
Their first single from the album, a double A-side 7" featuring tracks "Breakfast In NYC", "Truth Or Dare" and B-side "Getting By", was released in the UK via Smalltown America in April 2006. A video for "Breakfast in NYC", directed by Brian Philip Davis was also produced to coincide with the single release, and was made available on the Oppenheimer MySpace page.
The group have toured with Regina Spektor, Architecture in Helsinki, The Bravery, and The Chalets, They've spent over 16 weeks touring the USA, playing events like SXSW, CMJ, Southstreet Seaport music festival and with many of their favourite bands like The Like Young and The Spinto Band.
Their music has been used in various television shows - "How I Met Your Mother" in the episode "Lucky Penny", "Ugly Betty" and "Gossip Girl".
The group played at Forfey Festival in August 2006 and the Glasgowbury Festival on July 21st 2007.
Between November 2007 and March 2008, they toured with They Might Be Giants.
The band's second album, titled Take The Whole Midrange And Boost It was released June 3, 2008 via Bar/None in North America and via Fantastic Plastic in Europe.
Name and influences
The band is not actually named after physicist Robert Oppenheimer. The band claim their title was chosen purely on the basis of it sounding good. There is an obvious connection between the Oppenheimer logo, and the computer display for the Death Star in Star Wars, as the station moves into position to destroy Alderaan.
The name of Oppenheimers' record label, Little Ruddiger Records, comes from Bart's Inner Child, a fifth season episode of The Simpsons in which self-help guru Brad Goodman believes Bart Simpson's name to be "Ruddiger".
They have quoted their collective favourite song of the 21st century as 'History's Stranglers' by The Bronx.
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