The Oil Barons – Review

The Oil BaronsWhile listening to The Oil Barons, so many influences & genre comparisons came to mind that I was left with only one overshadowing characteristic. This band is simply unique, which fills a void in rock music that has been oversaturated by so many Nu-post-sub-core genres.

They are a punk band that doesn’t write only punk music. They play metal, grunge & rockabilly but are not identifiable by any one of those genres. It seems that they genuinely write whatever comes to mind, regardless of the genre of the previous song. It’s such a punk rock attitude…but musically may not be punk at all. It’s a refreshing attribute that’s unfortunately lacking in most new cookie cutter genre rock bands.

The Oil Barons – Genre Averse, In A Good Way!

“Love Is Over” is deceptively catchy. In between the involved guitar parts & transitions come some pretty sneaky hooks. With an Ozzy/Toadies-esque vocal approach & some Soundgarden-esque guitar shredding, you might be fooled into missing the vocal riffing & the overall catchiness of the chorus. It’s an interesting one. I recommend this one to a first time listener.

“DRILL” feels like a song born in the wrong decade & I mean that as a compliment. It would bring the house down in a 70’s/80’s arena rock show, which cannot be thought of as a bad thing. Whether it’s the gang vocals, the raunchy whammy bar, or the deliberate lack of editing, I can say that it feels like a definite closing song to a 1975 live set. I hear a lot of Black Sabbath in this one, which seems to be one of the more dominant influences on The Oil Barons, overall.

“VITCH” shows what Aquiler, Hart & Huber can do on their respective instruments. I can hear that a lot of thought went into the writing, arrangement, rehearsing & recording process of this song. It pays off. It has elements of progressive rock without losing that punk rock mentality. The B3 organ adds a nice layer to the arrangement after my ears had gotten so accustomed to the standard guitar/bass/drum/vocal sound of the rest of the EP. This song adds yet another genre to the band’s sound resume which is “jam band”.

Let me be clear. I’m not referencing the Phish guys, I’m referencing The Allman Brothers. Specifically, the vibe from the song “Whipping Post” with a more Stevie Ray Vaughn guitar approach combined with a more Deftones drum sound. Comparisons aside, it’s another unique track from a unique band.

While writing this review, a second overshadowing characteristic came to mind. This band is simply interesting. The Oil Barons are a unique & interesting rock band. The music is complex but not self-indulgent. The attitude is punk but not overly careless. The sound is dated but different songs & instruments belong to different eras. Whether or not they end up being your cup of tea, they’re definitely deserving of a first listen.

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