I often think the sign of a good reviewer is one that manages to review without referring to other bands. Having said that I find myself scouring reviews looking for the ‘sounds like X, Y and Z’ bit. Let’s face facts, this approach allows a) the reader to locate the band in their internal jukebox-cum-musical venn diagram; b) the reader to sort the Parts & Labor from the White Lies.
So we come to Ox.Eagle.Lion.Man and I just can’t help myself from reproducing the ‘sounds like’ line. This combo sound like a goth BSP; or a metal Circulus; or an indie System of a Down; or a folk Editors. There you go. Have we mapped them yet?
The second thing that strikes me about doing this reviewing lark is how you tend to run out of adjectives to describe sounds and songs. If anybody was to do some sort of content analysis on my blogs they’d see a number of recurring terms and my limited lexicon would be revealed. Thank god that ain’t gonna happen, eh?
Luckily, Ox.Eagle.Lion.Man allow me to buck the stats and use some new ones (I think): preposterous, operatic, bitter, biblical, puffed up. It’s nearly all ridiculous, but I like it.
They’ve released two EPs (The Lay of the Land, The Turn of the Tide and Obscured by a Setting Sun) both labelled an ‘Opus’, with the third making an ‘Opera’. Absurd and laughable? Most probably, but I have the odd day when I just need something to blow introversion and men with meaningful beards out of the Topographic Oceans. This lot are for those times.
And then of course, you write your review and as you’re not knowingly on the pop pulse you then find out that said combo are being labelled as ‘Posh Indie’ and you don’t know whether this means you should like them less or ignore what you now know in an attempt to listen to them again like you did before when you didn’t know.
And then you think fuck it, does anyone fancy a pint?
‘The Drowned & the Saved’ (from The Lay of the Land, The Turn of the Tide)
‘The Road to Damascus’ (from Obscured by a Setting Sun)
Buy some prog privilege here.