Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Cassette Review: Ohioan "EMPTY // EVERY MT" (Baby Tooth)

[$7 // Edition of 50 // https://babytoothtucson.bandcamp.com/album/empty-every-mt]

Is Ohioan the official term for someone from Ohio?  I've always wondered why more artists didn't name themselves after their home states in a bit of home state pride like sports teams do.   Why not a punk band from New York City called "The NYC Punks"?  Why not a folk band from California called "The Californian Folk Trio"?  I know there are some bands out there with states and even cities in their name but you just think it'd be used more often so they wouldn't get questions all the time like, "Why do you call yourself the Maine Jazz Duo?" (Well, we're a duo from the state of Maine who play jazz music, so...)

In any event, this cassette begins with banjo plucks and it feels a bit peaceful at first.   There is a western vibe to it- like it could be set in the Old West, anywhere from a movie like "The Magnificent Seven" to "Rango", and there is also this part where it feels like moving cattle with the drama rock which is instrumental.    Vocals do come in eventually though and I'm not sure why exactly but I like to think of this as a folk  version of Bon Jovi.   It doesn't quite have that "Wanted Dead or Alive" sound so much as it feels like Bon Jovi crossed with Of Monsters and Men.

The music can get pretty chaotic and even grow heavy but it doesn't really remind me of any other mainstream folk bands when it does that which is a nice bonus.    It gets into this hypnotizing state which reminds me of Emerson, Lake and Palmer and even Fleetwood Mac at times.    That classic vibe is just there-- like something from along that time and genre of classic rock.   I once had a friend refer to Mumford & Sons as a folk band mixed with alternative rock, which is accurate I'd say.   Based on that, I'd like to think of Ohioan as a folk band mixed with classic rock but it would have to be classic rock of a specific type (Since that term can be so broad) and that can come back to Fleetwood Mac and other such artists.

Through dusty rattles we can also find ourselves into a more southern rock feel at times.   From Lynyrd Skynyrd to The Wallflowers to even Alice In Chains somehow (Mostly in the vocals, but if Alice In Chains made a western record in their prime this might be close to it) this cassette does not mess around and neither do the drums.     Ohioan just pulls enough from the classic and modern, from the used and not used to create an original sound that quite frankly I'm surprised no one has perfected such as this before them.








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