Don’t be afraid friends! The summer is still with us, and there are more great albums to tag along with it. Oxford Collapse, Zach De La Roche’s One Day As a Lion, Radio Radio and Return to Sender are here to make sure that sticky feeling won’t leave the surface of your skin. Yes, it is still summer, so enjoy the time you have left with your friends and make sure these great artists are given the chance of an obligatory first-hand experience. Enjoy.
RadioRadio – Alarm 1 Alarm 2
In its current form, the RadioRadio project (Tulsa, Oklahoma) is not even a year old. Before that the group struggled together for eleven months to bring their act together for a final show in June 2007 before reforming again in October of 2007. What makes their sorted past so unbelievable is the quality of their four-song EP, Alarm 1 Alarm 2. One explanation is their long experience as superstars of the Tulsa scene before all the trouble started, something the outsiders can finally understand and appreciate.
Alarm 1 Alarm 2 is a pounding dramatic dance-rock album with the grandiose tendencies of Snow Patrol, save for its edge, rhythm and distortion. The time spent by group of artists like these cutting their teeth on the local scene before taking on a larger audience is encouraging and evident. Greg Hosterman’s lead vocals are unique. They lend passion to his music without straying into Creed or Nickelback territory. Come for the second track, ‘BBC,’ a convincingly prog-funk digression from the rest of the EP; stay for the rock ballads.
Oxford Collapse – Bits
It is now fair to call Oxford Collapse veterans of the New York scene. Once signed to Kanine records, they’ve since moved on to the indie-rock hall of presidents, Sub Pop. Michael Pace, Adam Rizer and Dan Fetherston started in 2002 with their self-titled EP and haven’t looked back. Since then they’ve released eight more albums including their latest, Bits, an album that had fans waiting for two years after their previous full-length, Remember the Night Parties.
Bits is eclectic to say the least. It is sometimes fun (“I Hate Nobody”), noisy (“The Birthday Wars”), soft (“B-Roll”), folky (“Featherbeds”), rocking (“Electric Arc”), a-tonal (“Vernon-Jackson”), and poppy (“Young Love Delivers”). What links the songs together, however, is the common theme of what can only be intentional sloppiness. A great sloppiness. This is the charm of Oxford Collapse, a group that came up with many of its Sub Pop dirty nerd-rock counterparts. Bits shows the versatility of this group while all the while somehow maintaing a punk style of simplicity with fast simple chords and group vocals, especially in songs like “For The Winter Coats” and “John Blood”. Oxford Collapse has somehow maintained relevance after years of creation and in a world where it seems everything has been done. Relax and enjoy.