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An Evil Heat

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An Evil Heat is Oxbow's fifth album and their first in five years, and for a band who on paper might appear past their prime, it's a surprisingly good album. Actually, it's just really good, period. Compared to earlier albums like F******t or King of the Jews, this album is much stronger in terms of how well the band uses dynamics and in how well the songs flow together. As a result, it stands up much better as a unified whole than those earlier releases. Otherwise, Oxbow's trademark elements are still in place: the jagged-edged noise rock foundation, the bluesy/Led Zeppelin-ish overtones, and Eugene Robinson's squirming vocals (somewhere between a Baptist preacher and an unhappy two-year-old). Tracks such as "...The Stick" and "Skin" have parts that are as heavy and hard rocking as anything the band has ever done, but then again, there are also moments (on "Sweetheart" and "Sorry") that are sad and almost pretty. "Sorry" is the album's standout track, a prime example of the band's ability to go from sounding quiet and heartbroken to heavy and violent without sounding contrived. (It is also a great example of Robinson's vocal range, emotionally speaking, especially since he doesn't technically "sing" anywhere on the album.) In short, this album runs the gamut from guitar feedback experimentation to bluesy quietness to odd-time-signature heaviness worthy of Melvins, and it does so gracefully throughout.


Genre: Rock

Jaren actief: '80s, '90s, '00s

The provocative San Francisco-based quartet Oxbow formed in the late '80s around vocalist Eugene Robinson, guitarist Niko Wenner, bassist Dan Adams, and drummer Greg Davis. Combining the squall of bands like the Birthday Party with elements of free jazz and musique concrète, the group debuted in 1990 with F******t, followed in 1992 by King of the Jews. The menacing The Balls in the Great Meat Grinder Collection also appeared in 1992, and after 1995's Steve Albini-produced Let Me Be a Woman Oxbow...
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An Evil Heat, Oxbow
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