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.



About angrybonbon

Both Bars On's Manchester correspondent

Posted on March 12, 2009, in Album reviews and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Wahay! Now that’s what I call a review. I have a feeling I’ve seen this lot supporting someone, but reading your description I’m no longer sure. Nice cover!

  2. They supported The Spree on the last tour I think. I was in the bar as usual.

  3. I don’t know how to feel about the phrase “posh indie”. Just thinking about it is giving me a headache. The words make me think of that awful britpop band Sophie Ellis Boxhead was in in the late 90’s. The Audience, I think?

    And now I’m worried that I’m forgetting something really important to remember that.

    It’s ALMOST put me off downloading the MP3’s 😉

  4. “Sophie Ellis Boxhead”? Nice phrasing.

  5. I thought if you wanted to know what an acts sounds like these days you just typed their name into Last.fm … or am I missing someone. Not only have I never heard of Ox.Eagle etc., but I’ve not heard of (let alone listened to) some of the bands you compare them to (although even I have heard of and listened to the Editors … ). Now that’s what you call being off the pop pulse.

  6. Hi Andrew – System of a Down are terrible; Circulus are a bunch of hippies who you probably wouldn’t have heard of but are favourites of mine/ours; BSP is British Sea Power.

    On the other hand, who is Richard Walker? One of Scott’s brothers? 🙂

  7. Ah, I do have all the BSP records, so I should have known that.
    Richard Walker is not (I’m pretty sure) Scott’s brother but the economic geographer at Berkeley. His lectures on the global economy are highly recommended, and available via iTunes. Doesn’t quite fit with this page, I know, but you did ask.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: