Tag Archives: The Oohs

Summer, Save Us!

Realized that my three weekend posts were rather depressing, although in truth I am celebrating the lives of Pete, Tommy and Dige more than mourning their passing. Every year brings loss, some more than others. The first six months of 2010 have been very difficult, though.

There’s something about the turning of the seasons that brings solace, however, especially in the Northeast where the winters can be brittle and brutal. Spring will juggle nice days and wet weather, but Summer…ahh, now you’re talking. Granted, the joke up here is that it only lasts a week, but it’s really a pretty glorious three months, which my math skills say is all you can really expect from one-fourth of a year.

And summer means summer music! So today I point you to yet another marvelous compilation by my friend Angelo at PPC, whose talent for assembling mixes is only matched by the wonderful artwork he designs to accompany them.

Volume Two of this collection features a bevy of great bands like The Lolas, The Lackloves, The Squires of the Subterrain, The Flashing Lights and The Reckless Hearts. Household names? Nope. Great bands not getting enough attention? You bet!

So go get it, roll down those windows and crank it up!

And if you pay attention while you’re there, Volume One is also available.

1 Comment

Filed under Music, Reviews

Under The Radar: The Oohs

Dig in.

Hanging out on Internet groups can be incredibly frustrating, for trolls abound everywhere; we’ve all encountered the uneducated idiot who lashes out at everyone and everything to get attention (when they really shouldn’t be skipping those remedial English classes). But the pearl in the oyster is accidentally discovering a band or a film or an artist that you overlooked or may never have found otherwise. Sometimes it’s because they are recommeneded to you. Sometimes they’re one of the fellow listmembers.

I came across The Oohs in such a way, as the listgroup in question was focused upon melodic pop music, from bubblegum to powerpop and beyond. Hooks and harmony required for admission, in other words. And when this band decided to name their first record Ear Candy…well, that’s a gauntlet, isn’t it?

Suffice it to say I was more than pleasantly surprised by the pop foursome, and The Oohs have gone on to release a couple more since then – Saturday Morning Daydream and Llamalamp – in addition to appearances on several tribute and compilation albums.  But I happened to pull this one out tonight, so I thought I’d share my words from the review I wrote many moons ago for Amplifier Magazine:

All four Oohs can handle lead vocals, but when they sing in unison (as they do most often), words like “Jellyfish” and “Queen” and “ELO” immediately jump to mind. But I hear roots much deeper than that in their songwriting. Remember when you looked back on singles from the 1960s and discovered how adroitly they balanced lust and innocence. Check out how the vocals explode along with the subject matter in “Baby’s Going Out Tonight.” Listen to the musical roots all the way back to the Bee Gees‘ “Spicks And Specks,” but the majestic arrangement and signature shifts prove that The Oohs are not going to settle for the easy (retro) way out.

Listen to the vocals s-l-i-d-e together in perfect harmony, the bells chiming in the background, the way the drums seem to carry the song, but then it’s the keyboard…no, wait, it’s the guitar line…as the song fades, you want more and you want it now. And, seconds later, you get what you need as it sweeps back in. “Summer Sun” even borrows the essence of The Four Seasons‘ street-corner savvy to accentuate the pitch-perfect vocals (the acoustic version proves that this is not done with mirrors, by the way). “Head Above Water,” dodging the logical chord progressions for something more inventive, firmly exposes the Rundgren influence the band enjoys, right down to that synth solo (where have you gone, Roger Powell?).

Calling this collection “Sing Along With The Oohs” would not be far from the mark, as you will find yourself doing just that. One more thing about all this name-dropping – the fact that the same band names will jump into your mind is testament to the small number of bands who have been able to pull these arrangements off live. Savor the experience.

The Oohs website.

The Oohs on MySpace

3 Comments

Filed under Features and Interviews, Music, Reviews