Brew City Sludge - Rökktober 2009by Lane Klozier
Milwaukee native Billy O’Neill’s band Oh My God may be based out of Chicago…but they will always have a homecoming type welcome when playing the Brew City. Over the last decade OMG has provided some of the most innovative music the Midwest has ever heard. Relentless touring and fantastic records have garnered them a large cult following that salivates at the mere mention of a new cd. That time has now arrived with the release of their latest The Night Undoes the Work of the Day (Split Red Records). As usual, the boys have crafted a collection of songs that, as an album, show great continuity as well as diversity track after track. However, there is definitely a different feel here. The band has had some complications over the past couple of years. A major car wreck that left everyone seriously injured combined with a label change and a new drummer may (or may not…what do I know?) be behind a cd that sounds a little more introspective.
OMG has always had lyrical content obviously derived from personal experience, leaving the listener to their own devices for interpretation, but these songs read like a journal entry; free written and set in prose. Whether driven by love, hate, happiness or sorrow, the tracks ooze with emotion. Musically, things seem somewhat less intense than their former work, yet it fits like a glove. Ig’s keys are a little more subdued and subtle but the fit is perfect as his signature Leslie caresses Billy’s vocal melodies. Yes, there is guitar. The question will always be there for a band that successfully ignored the iconic instrument for so long. The segue to the land of the six string has been a smooth one for the band and the fears of many who at first trembled at the thought have been long put to rest. Guitarist Zach Verdoorn is a good fit and plays with a style that extenuates the bands signature sound without unnecessary clutter. Drummer Danny Yost is right in the pocket and an obvious influence in the songwriting structure with delicious time changes and intricate stick work. A highlight for yours truly is a cover of One Thing Leads to Another by the Fixx. Picking a cover for an album is a tricky business, but the boys really nail this one. All in all, the release is yet another step forward for a band that is constantly honing their craft. Check out Oh My God this Oct 9 at the Cactus Club.
That’s all for now my Darlings.
Remember: It’s Halloween. Get to the costume shop early this year so you don’t get stuck being a pirate again.