Published July 2, 2013
Big things are expected of neo-shogazers Oyama in 2013 and their debut EP, ‘I Wanna,’ is their first proper mission statement. It certainly wears its influences on its sleeve with unabashed pride, namely indie rock circa 1989–94. Think L**h’s ‘Spooky’ or pre-’Loveless’ My Bloody Valentine and you get the idea.
‘I Wanna’ makes you feel something that is both reassuring and distinctly familiar. Those soft, gender-unspecific vocals, the chiming, open chord progressions, and chugging riffs containing that slightly atonal, off centre note. Only “Everything Some Of The Time,” with its direct, poppy hooks, doesn’t adhere to a particular time or style. It should bring middle-aged men who were weaned on such music to tears of nostalgic rapture.
And naturally it does… to a point. Songs like “Wasted (Dinosaur)” definitely rollick along in high gear, but in mastering sounds that have been around the block numerous times, it does feel at times a tad safe and happy within the boundaries Oyama have defined for itself. Which is okaaaay, but not much is being stretched sonically here. It really shows on the final track, “The Garden,” with its mid-song fuzzout/breakdown that, instead of pushing it ‘til the wheels fall off, just seems to chug along sullenly. It also doesn’t help that the lyrics seem to have been cobbled together as a mere afterthought.
Oyama Band Official Page