Tag Archive: “Oxbow”

Recent news of Oxbow‘s seventh album, Thin Black Duke (Hydra Head, Out May 5th) was met with much anticipation, and now the group shares its first audiovisual insight into the record, in the form of a new video for “Cold & Well-Lit Place” directed by Chris Purdie

Over the 30 years of Oxbow’s operations, no one has come comfortably close to classifying the Bay Area group. This could arguably be the result of Oxbow’s ongoing evolution, butaccurately describing any particular phase of the groups’ seven-album career is no easier than describing the broader metamorphic arc of their creative path, modifiers like “noise”, “avant garde”, and “experimental” frequently get tossed about, but even honing in on a head noun any more specific than “rock” becomes problematic. Sure, the band employs the standard rock choices of instrumentation and displays the requisite evolutionary tie to the blues, but such vague designations mean little. So it’s tempting to attach the only-slightly-more-specific handle of ‘punk’ to Oxbow, if one’s view of punk is narrowly focused on the kind of free-jazz inflected antagonism later-era Black Flag inflicted on the nascent American hardcore scene. But punk’s primitivism is completely at odds with Oxbow’s highly disciplined approach. This is especially true with their seventh album Thin Black Duke, where Oxbow’s elusive brand of harmonic unrest has absorbed the ornate and ostentatious palate of baroque pop into their sound, pushing their polarized dynamics into a scope that spans between sublime and completely unnerving. This is new musical territory for all parties involved.

unnamed

Oxbow – Thin Black Duke

  1. Cold & Well Lit Place
  2. Ecce Homo
  3. A Gentleman’s Gentleman
  4. Letter Of Note
  5. Host
  6. The Upper
  7. Other People
  8. The Finished Line

By now most have heard the band Oxbow, who will undoubtedly reach legendary status at some point, will be releasing their new album Thin Black Duke May 5, 2017 on Hydra Head Records. This is the band’s first release in 10 years.

Over the 30 years of Oxbow’s operations, no one has come comfortably close to classifying the bay area group. This could arguably be the result of Oxbow’s ongoing evolution, but accurately describing any particular phase of the group’s seven-album career is no easier than describing the broader metamorphic arc of their creative path, modifiers like “noise,” “avant garde,” and “experimental” frequently get tossed about, but even honing in on a noun any more specific than “rock” becomes problematic. Sure, the band employs the standard rock choices of instrumentation and displays the requisite evolutionary tie to the blues, but such vague designations mean little. So it’s tempting to attach the only-slightly-more-specific handle of “punk” to Oxbow, if one’s view of punk is narrowly focused on the kind of free-jazz inflected antagonism later-era Black Flag inflicted on the nascent American hardcore scene. But punk’s primitivism is completely at odds with Oxbow’s highly disciplined approach. This is especially true with their seventh album Thin Black Duke, where Oxbow’s elusive brand of harmonic unrest has absorbed the ornate and ostentatious palate of baroque pop into their sound, pushing their polarized dynamics into a scope that spans between sublime and completely unnerving. This is new musical territory for all parties involved.

From the sound of the promo, seems like the band has matured and we’ll all be the better for it.

 

OxbowThinBlackDuke

Track Listing:

1.    Cold & Well Lit Place

2.    Ecce Homo

3.    A Gentleman’s Gentleman

4.    Letter Of Note

5.    Host

6.    The Upper

7.    Other People

8.    The Finished Line

 

Conan Neutron (photo by Shannon Corr)
Conan Neutron (photo by Shannon Corr)

Conan Neutron is a guy, Conan Neutron & the Secret Friends is a band. It is a band featuring Dale Crover of the mighty Melvins on drums, Tony Ash of Trophy Wives and Coliseum on bass and the production skills of the iconoclastic and enigmatic Toshi Kasai. The Secret Friends bring forth a wiry and adventurous rock ‘n roll that is equal parts Cheap Trick, Fugazi, the Cars, Black Sabbath and DEVO with perhaps Mean Streets era Van Halen mixed in.

Neutron, a rock ‘n roll lifer has spent the last 15 years making records and touring in such bands as Replicator, Victory and Associates and Mount Vicious, making uncompromising, sometimes challenging and daring rock music to anybody that is interested. The Enemy of Everyone, is the first record that he wrote and arranged himself.

The record was fully fleshed out at the secret Melvins HQ – Sound of Sirens September 11-15, 2014 during a brutal heatwave. Vocals for “Fight Math” were done at Antisleep audio, Oakland, CA by Mr. Eugene Robinson (of Oxbow!) on October 8, 2014. Those were tracked by Mr. Scott Evans. Mixing was done at Sound of Sirens between October 10-15. 2014 by Toshi Kasai.

cover

The Enemy of Everyone, which drops on March 17 via Seismic Wave, is a nine song jaunt with songs that range in theme, but largely have to do with being annoyed at things. There’s also a song about accidentally selling your soul while on a drinking bender, and whatever it is that Eugene Robinson is singing about.

Today Ghettoblaster has the pleasure of premiering “The Bargain Is Sealed, Child Of Man.” Enjoy:

There will be some shows, and with any luck much, much more to come.

(Visit the band here: facebook.com/neutronfriends.)