OSLO was an anomaly even when they first hit the scene with their debut in 2005. Combining glistening guitars and an uncanny galloping low end, OSLO could easily be seen as the second coming of The Cure or Joy Division even. They followed that album in 2007 with The Rise and Fall of Love and Hate and then quietly went away. Until now (And the 2011 High Mountain Sessions release) that is as the band prep their newest EP, The Morning After, for a December release.
Honestly, listening to opener “When I’m Through” is like being transplanted back to 2005 and hearing “The Stranger” again for the first time. Those grooves and soaring licks are still intact as is the synchronicity between Mattia Borrani’s voice, Gabriel McNair’s beats, and Kerry Wayne James’ low frequencies. But instead of Joy Division 2.0, OSLO has morphed into the elder statesmen having more in common with Gang Of Four of today than The Cure of the early ’80’s.
Building a gorgeous atmosphere with driving bass lines has been the norm for OSLO since their inception but here, on The Morning After, these L.A. music scene vets venture outside their wheelhouse to create definitive reasons for us (and them) to stick around to hear what’s coming next. Take the title track which grooves into a dreamy synth filled Massive Attack-like musical hypnosis followed by “Ears Are Ringing” with its’ killer trumpet-laden groove which goes beyond a classic by The Police or The English Beat bookended between some of the fastest OSLO material yet.
“Spaulding Place”, on the other hand, is like the soul sister of The Smiths “How Soon Is Now?” replete with acoustic guitars and blanketed croons. As a whole, The Morning After is a sonic masterpiece in five steps culminating with the somber piano of “Full Circle” that builds to this maelstrom filled with programmed beats and electro amazingness before drifting away and leaving listeners with lingering piano chords.
The Morning After is out now. Order yours with some perks via Pledgemusic here.