oh!no?ok. give a little taste of their upcoming album titled ‘randy warhole (or somethin)’ in the form of the single ‘Wheel of Fortune’. Starting off by going straight for the jugular, ‘Wheel of Fortune’ is a ‘Holy Sh*t’ with a side of jaw-drop. As a guitarist myself, I can’t help but be in awe with the straight forward balls-out rock style of the in-your-face guitar combined with the harmonious anthemic screaming vocals. The lucid interlude gives a slight (really slight) break from the madness but this is an audio assault of the aural senses. Drink some herbal sleepy-time tea while listening if you wish to stay in your chair.
Salt Lake City, Utah might be best known as the world headquarters for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That may change as a fertile counter-cultural underground music scene is slowly seeping into nationwide consciousness with artists such as Neon Trees, Imagine Dragons, The Moth & the Flame, Sego, and Desert Noises. Up next, something weird and tuneful is poised to be Salt Lake City’s nice prime musical export. Self-described slacker rockers oh!no?ok. stake their claim to the mantle with the fearlessly catchy debut, randy warhole (or somethin).
oh!no?ok. is comprised of high school friends Ryan Osborn, Cole Miller, Jackson Ludlow, and local guitarist Nick Storey. The band is a year old and has been working closely with locally-renowned producer Nate Pyfer (The Moth & the Flame, Kaskade, Sego). Lead vocalist Ryan and Nate laid the groundwork for the band’s music, though each member brings his unique flair, making the process a cohesive collaboration. They play the kind of music you’d hear blasting forth from a suburban garage in the height of the alt-rock boom of the 1990s but they update this scruffy aesthetic with sleek but-not-too-polished production and a dose of raw skate punk. Their songs feature cleverly abstract lyrics, bold musical dynamics, experimental textures, adventurous arrangements, and sharp pop-rock hooks. This melding of tuneful and arty conjures an array of classic and current alt-rock innovators such as Weezer, Pavement, The Presidents of the United States, Butthole Surfers, and Spoon, FIDLAR, Car Seat Headrest, and PUP.
The quartet is the local scene buzz band, playing packed shows regionally and earning accolades from key scene tastemakers. Underneath their playful veneer and intriguing wordplay, oh!no?ok. tuck in themes and narratives that illustrate society’s vices, cynicism, and the lies that we tell ourselves to avoid confronting our insecurities and depression. Ryan says: “Our music is, in part, a commentary on issues humans have struggled with as long as we’ve been around. Issues such as entitlement, pride, drug abuse, video game addiction, online persona management, and idolization. The primary theme is how we often take the first step in recognizing that we struggle with these issues, but we lack the motivation to actually fix our problems. This results in us being hyper-aware of our flaws but feeling powerless to improve ourselves. Our ultimate goal is to share our message and passions with the masses.”
The band’s forthcoming debut randy warhole (or something) is a bold release that’s as catchy as it is playfully confounding. Throughout the 12 tracks, the band twists through shambolic indie rock, pent-up punk rock, art-damaged alt-rock, and synth-y 1980s new wave. Each sonic fishtail is hook-heavy, and the band effortlessly finds a way to balance the downright strange with the sing-able.
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