The Pitch: Tofu Carnage Records brings us the new album from Texas-based sludge, alternative, and post-hardcore band Omotai. "A meditation on the lost colony at Roanoke, A Ruined Oak is centered on abandonment and responsibility, the lyrics haunted by loss and violence." FFO: Helmet, Jane's Addiction, Bison, Red Fang
What I Like: Omotai start this album off in a really great place. Not only is the energy high with toe-tapping D-beats and catchy guitar hooks; there's a lot going on stylistically. A Ruined Oak fuses brusk, sludgy vocals, stoner doom, and 90's post-hardcore and alternative into something fresh and alive. I feel a rush of nostalgia for Helmet, Fugazi, and Rollins Band; but also a sense of something different than the sum of its parts. And there are other interesting nuggets sprinkled throughout the album as well. For instance, "Ruined Oak" has one of my favorite riffs, which just happens to recall Norma Jean, and the slower "A Cruel Weight, Thy Wound" has Jane's Addiction's early work written all over it.
Critiques: TOO LONG. At over an hour, I feel like there is fat not only to trim, but to really slice the hell up. I honestly think that, musically, the ideas here could have been expressed in half the time. As it stands, there's just a lot of comparatively dull moments that pale in comparison after the energy expressed in the opening 3 tracks.
The Verdict: While A Ruined Oak drags on too long for its own good, the high points are very high and bode well for Omotai's future and those wanting more quality music in this genre. I highly recommend checking out what this band is all about and either picking up the album this Friday or catching a show in the near future. Stream it early HERE.
Flight's Fav's: Ruined Oak, Last of the Green Vial, Welcome to the Adders' Land
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