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O ... is for Oi!

Review Archive:
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V WX YZ
Various Artists

Oblivion Suckers From the Start
The gritty side of '80s pop punk. Short songs, silly antics. Minor Threat acting all goofy. Skate skate skate ... circle pit circle pit circle pit. Very good for this genre .... we like it! Sinister Label MH/AH

One Man Army Rumors and Headlines
The lead track by this San Francisco band is about my city (Victoria, BC), so right away the band gets brownie points. Never mind that the chorus of "Victoria" is a rip-off of (Nomeansno alter-ego band) the Hanson Brothers and their song of the same name. One Man Army play no nonsense melodic punk rock with chant-along vocals and rapid-fire delivery. The vocals are pleasantly off-kilter, as if sung by some demented leprechaun, and the drumming by ex-US Bombs skin-basher Chip Hanna really drives Rumors and Headlines along. Fans of the kind of punk BYO Records is known for won't be disappointed by this release. BYO Records JS 4.15.2003

Organic
Despite the cover of their 7" looking a bit like a cheesy emo record,
Organic kicks out five tunes of melodic punk rock not unlike Fifteen. Tracksl ike "Flag" and "Tribulation" are good, straightforward sing-a-long pop punk while "Broken" and "Hot Words, Wax Lips" exhibit a somewhat more mellow, indie-rock slant but still kick into faster parts. The lyrics are extremely personal, contemplative, downtrodden, and sometimes even suicidal. The music is very well played and enjoyable. I'm sure if I'd lived in Berkeley, Calif. during the late 1980s and early '90s and been involved with the punk scene, a band like this playing today in the same style as many of the classic outfits would mean quite a lot to me. This is highly recommended for fans of Fifteen or Crimpshrine or people who dig good, old-style melodic punk but are sick and tired of the bands from the Fat Wreck Chords/Epitaph mall bilge that masquerade as such. Microcosm BD

Owen No Good for No One Now
Floating over lilting, repetitive acoustic guitar lines, Mike Kinsella's vulnerable, affecting vocals are aimed straight at the heart. Owen attacks an emotional receptiveness still recovering from the kind of hurt awkward guy frustrations of a younger Lou Barlow, albeit decidedly less given to manic outburst. "You bring the drinks, I'll bring the 'fuck you's'", he suggests in "Everyone Feels Like You," as perpetually simmering in polite (if a bit touchy) malaise as he is ready to boil over in passionate agony. Like Barlow, Kinsell (who plays all of the instruments heard on the record) uses the limitations of his voice as indications of cracks in the façade of his happiness. Most of the music is plucked acoustic guitar with minimal backing, often suggesting a folky, more melancholy (as opposed to haunted) Cat Power. The overall effect is one of comforting sadness, the way you might like to feel a month after you've broken up with someone that you really cared for. When Owen does open up a bit -- incorporating electric guitar, a more pronounced rhythm section, overdubs, and a generally fuller sound -- Kinsella's knack for complex melody (even if he does tend to wank a bit on slightly gratuitous guitar solos) is wonderfully complimentary to the album's somber tone and offers poignant relief from the emotional weight of the record. Polyvinyl Records CO 4.15.2003

Owen Self-Titled
Seasoned veteran Mike Kinsella puts together a wonderful CD of acoustic songs for that library that you love to do reading in. He has been in bands like American Football, Cap'n Jazz, and Joan of Arc, none of which I care for too awfully much. But this I love. Mike plays every instrument competently and excells in his guitar and especially in his vocals. Excellent acoustic guitar sound. To me, this is thought-rock -- easy going so it lets your mind drift fluidly from thought to though but driving and exciting enough to keep new thoughts coming. Soothing on a hard day. To Mike's credit he recorded and produced his own album in his home studio and trust me you would never know. Excellent on every level. Polyvinyl Record Co. AH



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Also in Song ...
Song Archive

JS - Jason Schreurs

MW - Mark Whittaker

KG - Kenny George

ZH - Zachary Houle

MH - Melissa Hostetler

RG - Ryan Gowland

CS - Cameron Smith

CR - Chuck Reith

CO - Cory O'Malley

BD - Bruce Duncanson

JR - Jessica Richman

GW - Greg Wilson

DG - Daniel Garret

JT - Jessie Turner


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