O+S



Reviews

O+S

Author: Christian Kiefer
03/26/2009 | Blurt Online | www.blurt-online.com | Album Review
There's something in the water in Omaha. That's the only explanation I can muster for the incongruity of the city itself and the talent that springs from it, for despite the romance of Springsteen's album-length tribute to the state (or state of mind), Nebraska itself has always struck me as a lesser Iowa or Kansas, a never-ending flatland of farms and gas stations so featureless that no self-respecting Knute Rockne would ever choose it as prime real estate for a Fokker nosedive. Omaha is the nadir of that landscape: an overgrown ramble of featureless buildings and twisting overpasses.

But the point is not to lay Omaha to waste with weak metaphors (honestly, I've only ever seen it from the freeway, so most of this is writerly hyperbole); rather, it is to recognize that from this featureless landscape continues to flow a fount of music that is as fruitful as the farms that make a patchwork 430 miles long.

Of course, much of this output is at the behest of Saddle Creek, the little label that could, and did, and has continued to could and did since 1993 and has provided the vehicle for putting Omaha on the musical map.

Enter O+S, a new Saddle Creek project led by Azure Ray's Orenda Fink (the O) and Remy Zero's Cedric Lemoyne, also known as the Scalpelist (the S). O+S is bass-driven with Fink's ethereal vocals floating up above hooky guitars and tinkling keys. The press release uses phrases like "jagged collage of sound stitched together," but such phrases smack of unnecessary pretension. This is a pop record and on the whole it's quite good.

If there's criticism to be leveled here, it is that this record is at times a bit too safe and easy (where did those jagged collages go, one wonders). When the bass is holding down the groove, O+S rises to the level of David Lynch road movie soundtrack, as with the opening track "New Life." When the duo goes toward more vocal-driven ambience it sinks away from Lynch and toward the loopy pop ambience of Enya, as on "Survive Love." The Lynch-action and more driving pop sounds are far more prevalent in the band's convincing live show, a reminder that there's much to this band that remains untapped.
O+S

O+S

LP / CD / MP3




Releases

All »

O+S

O+S

LP / CD / MP3


Merch

All »

O+S Poster

poster


Logo Button

button


Plus Button

button