3 Track Demo
theOracleboy are a 4 piece outfit from southern England comprising of Tim Armitage (guitar/vocals), Simon Palmer (guitars), Paddy Smith, (bass/BV), and Will Baguley (drums/BV). They are a very professional outfit from the start, with a well conceived record cover, concise press release and impressive studio sound. It augers well for a good listen and while they don’t disappoint they do leave you with a slightly hollow feeling of having heard it before.
‘Jigsaw’ starts off with a nice driving guitar and drum intro which drops a gear slightly when Tim’s vocals come in. The lyrics did confuse me to start with during the first chorus as I thought he said he had a dead Chief in his field, it turns out it is a dead sheep, which didn’t make that much more sense, but at least wasn’t quite as gruesome. (Unless you’re a sheep, in which case stop reading this and join a circus.) There is a good use of backing vocals to engage a feeling of desperation as he try’s to get ‘there’. While I’m not sure where ‘there’ is, it is good to see ‘dribs and drabs’ making a welcome return to usage.
There is a definite hint of The Manic Street Preachers at the start of ‘Levitate’, before shifting to more of a Damon Albarn vocal style during the more choral parts of the song. Towards the end of the track there is some nice safe guitar work, but as a whole it doesn’t grab you or take you anywhere.
The Manic’s make another appearance on the final track. ‘Meter’ starts off nicely chilled with an almost lounge lizard feel in the middle of the song, before ending on yet another Indie wail on the pointlessness of trying to make a relationship work.
Their press release states that they are ‘masterfully re-moulding Indie into new and exciting shapes’ and I am not sure if that is what a band who wants to make a career in music should be aiming for. They are a talented bunch who, instead of re-moulding music, should come up with new ideas. It’s fine to be influenced by bands and musicians and it’s fine to show your influences in your work, but when it feels as if you are just copying their ideas what is the point of writing your own material, just play theirs – harsh maybe, but just look at what good cover bands get paid. theOracleboy, as I’ve said, are a talented group of musicians who I’m sure could come up with original ideas and music and its therefore a shame that they seem rely so heavily on others.
Music evolves by bands trying new sounds and writing songs for themselves, not by trying to sound what they hope record companies are looking for. With this demo theOracleboy do seem a little guilty of this, but I’m sure there is a fab band in there waiting to be heard.
Guest article from Neil R.
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