MetalBite Review by Adam M on 8/15/2017 9:19:25 AM
Oxbow brings a unique style to the table. Though there are comparisons to the likes of Mr. Bungle to be made, there are also others. The varied songwriting of Nick Cave is another comparison point, for example.
There is a lot of compelling instrumentation used here, like horns. This medley of sounds is almost always interesting and keeps up the tempo throughout. The sound of the album is somewhat offbeat, but this leads it to another interesting avenue. It is one that is difficult to categorize and makes for a very unique experience. The album also has the spastic jazzy nature of The Mars Volta down pat. When you combine all of these different styles into one a very interesting mixture is the result. It all starts nicely with Cold and Well-Lit Place, but continues to innovate at every step conceivable. The vocals are spastic and make for a nice backdrop to the hyperactive music at hand.†† The entirety of the music is some of the most interesting Iíve heard all year. Still, there are some issues with the disc. The biggest one lies in the fact that music this experimental can have holes in it. There are moments where the music drags a bit and prevents this from being an absolute masterpiece. The fact that the music is so obtuse is usually a positive aspect for the band, but does lead to some moments that bog down the overall experience.
Still, there is a lot to like with this experimental album from Oxbow and it certainly gets the juices flowing. Songs like Host are wonderfully weird and lead to a higher atmosphere. In fact, the mood is one of bewilderment throughout the entire release. Those looking for an original experience need to look no further than Thin Black Duke.
Rating: 7.7 out of 10