Blind Rage Records announced the release of Oh Condor’s latest LP, Emergency Psychic, on May 21, 2021. Emergency Psychic is a record sure to fit seamlessly into collections alongside Swervedriver, Braid, Archers of Loaf and other indie luminaries’ best and most focused efforts.
Dayton, Ohio has long been an unlikely bastion of top-tier indie rock. Bands like Guided By Voices, The Breeders, and Brainiac put the unassuming industrial town on the radar of college kids and music journalists the world over in the ’90s, and it’s been quietly churning out excellent acts ever since. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that Dayton can produce a band like Oh Condor.
According to their bio from Grey Gordon, Oh Condor plays a hard to pin down form of alt rock that occupies that nebulous space between subgenres; adroitly flitting between math-rock, shoegaze, and straight ahead college rock with impressive ease. One moment they’re recalling the pummeling math rock of Chavez, the next they’re channeling the bouncing power pop of Superchunk. The end result often lands them somewhere in the neighborhood of The Dismemberment Plan’s riff-heavy, boundary pushing indie/emo. But where lesser bands might stumble into disjointed cacophony, Oh Condor manage a masterful cohesion.
Before it fractured off into a thousand microgenres and distinct lifestyle brands, college rock was a convenient catchall for bands playing music that fell outside the confines of the mainstream purview, and Oh Condor evokes that enviable, long gone simplicity.
In 2021, there’s nothing new under the sun, but thoughtful synthesiscans still offer a fresh look at previously explored ideas. Oh Condor manages that synthesis in a way that feels both novel and familiar. Sometimes the building blocks just need to be rearranged, and Oh Condor have constructed something here that is well worth your attention.