Holy Buzz!!! I’m finding myself increasingly amazed nowadays how many frankly amazing bands are out there operating without any kind of label backing who should be huge if there was any justice in the world. When the pages of Kerrang, Rocksound are choc full of total shit I can’t figure out how a band like San Diego’s Oaks can fall under the radar!!!
This self released 6 tracker pretty much makes its intentions known right from the start with “Big Sta” opening with some fat, fuzzed up bass before kicking into a tune with balls the size of a prisoner’s in solitary confinement. That this was produced by Big Business guitarist/Melvins producer Toshi Kasai speaks volumes and gives away a lot of the band’s main inspirations. There is more than a whiff of the Melvins about this disc, particularly in the vocals which could almost be Buzz Osborne’s little bro. Oaks, however, succeed in trimming much of the excessive weirdness of the Melvins and pare each tune down the rocking basics. Closing track “Deerhead” rolls along particularly impressively on a riff that wouldn’t have been out of place on the Houdini album. There is some respite from the riff bludgeon on “Kix 4 Free” which, rather than being a glam anthem as the title might suggest, explores more textured sounds and a more post rock kind of vibe.
As you would expect the production is absolutely spot on…fat and heavy yet clear and concise. Gone are the days when bands financing their own recordings inevitably sound like a wasp farting in a jam jar. This sounds as good as anything I’ve heard in the last year easily.
Melvins comparisons aside (and let’s face it, if you’re going to be influenced by anyone, better to be influenced by someone awesome like The Melvins rather than someone like Linkin fucking Park) Oaks do have enough of their own vibe to make their own headway in the world and there’s plenty of room for another awesome band. I could wax lyrical about this release with a continuous stream of hyperbole but really you should have already stopped reading this review and should by now be hitting their Myspace page…get to it!!!
Label: Self Released
Scribed by: Ollie Stygall