Athens and Atlanta, Georgia, have always been havens for music and it’s no surprise Oak House is awesome. Their sophomore album Hot or Mood is out today and is ten tracks showcasing Gresham Cash, Connor Sabula, and Wes Gregory’s vast and genre-less talents.
Opening track “Damp Eyes” smashes your head open, with distorted guitars raging over Cash’s screams. The song gives way to “Reticence,” with rolling drums and electronic-sounding blips. Cash’s vocals are less harsh on this track, remaining in singing over screaming territory and highlighting his vocal range, as he sings “I fell before, I fell before.”
“Esque” is described by Cash as “a conglomeration of thoughts that could plague your dreams.” While that might sound like a negative, this song will haunt you in good ways, the heavy electric guitar and distorted vocals sticking in your head. At almost six minutes long, it seems like three tracks in one. The light, airy and almost sparse beginning with whispering whistles and chirps give way to a full on garage rock song, edging into an experimental jam by the track’s end. Cash writes “the song is also about how people often feel like we fall short in life,” and we cannot say we agree with him less on the specific case of his all-encompassing success of a song. He definitely didn’t fall short on this track.
Sludgy “Seventeen” has Cash’s voice reaching new heights over deep bass lines and piercing guitars. The song is followed by “Mundane,” a lighter track with some of the fastest drums around, making you wonder how can Gregory keep going like that. The answer is long enough — keeping up the incredible beat through the track. The album ends with “Spring,” putting twinkling cymbals under Cash’s wails. Each track is vastly different from the next, highlighting the range of the musicians. Whether it’s metal, straight indie rock, or edging into electronic and psychedelic inspired tunes, the band pulls it off flawlessly. No matter what the genre, put this on when you’re ready to rock.
Keep up with Oak House here.