Or, the Whale – Light Poles and Pines

by oz on November 10, 2007

Or, the Whale

We’re nearing the end of the year and my subconscious has been starting to compile the top albums of 2007. As I scrolled through the bands in my iPod, I passed by Or, the Whale and realized that I’ve never mentioned them on HearYa. Since it’s one of the best albums I’ve heard this year, it’s time to give them some praise.

Light Poles and Pines is the debut album by San Francisco’s Or, the Whale and it’s a peach of an album. It was recommended to me by Adrian at I Pick My Nose and I’ve probably listened to it more than any other album this year (Alberta Cross running a close second). The description on their website says it better than I ever could:

Or, the Whale’s songs range from danceable, rhythm-charged country-rock ditties with swaggering bass lines and articulately stomped-out drums to indie pop-rock tunes with bopping piano, snapping drums, and loops of finger-plucked guitar that explode into electric riffs to add fuel to fervent vocals. Slow it down and throw in some four-part harmonies, vibrant organ passages, and rippling pedal steel, and songs escalate into thoughtful ballads.

Part indie-pop. Part country-rock. Right in my wheelhouse. My two favorite songs, “Call and Response” and “Fight Song” serve as bookends to a phenomenal body of work. I can’t think of two better songs to kick off and close an album. If you’re in the bay area, make sure to catch a show. I’m working hard to make the December 6th show with HearYa fave Port O’Brien and the Cave Singers (pending HearYa praise).

Grab it on iTunes or eMusic.

Or, the Whale – Call and Response

Or, the Whale – Fight Song

Special mention:

Alberta Cross – The Thief and the Heartbreaker

Alberta Cross – Lucy Rider (from Rock Insider)

Port O’Brien – I Woke Up Today

Port O’Brien – My Eyes Won’t Shut

Port O’Brien – Five and Dime

Port O’Brien – Tree Bones

Or, the Whale Website | MySpace

Nov 7 2007 8:00P
ABC House Olympia, Washington
Nov 8 2007 8:00P
Stonehenge with World’s Greatest Ghosts and Muke Eugene, Oregon
Nov 9 2007 8:00P
Crux Arts Collective with Sleazy Earl Ray and the Two Drink Minimum and the Shankers Chico, California
Nov 10 2007 10:00P
The Prospector with Greater California and Deep Sea Diver Long Beach, California
Nov 12 2007 9:00P
The Echo with Restaurant Los Angeles, California
Nov 23 2007 9:00P
The Independent with the Devil Makes Three San Francisco, California
Dec 6 2007 8:00P
The Rickshaw Stop with Port O’Brien and the Cavesingers San Francisco, California

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Woody November 10, 2007 at 3:43 pm

Or, The Whale, POB and Cave Singers all together. Right there are 3 of my favorite albums this year. If you don’t go, then you my friend are even lamer than I originally thought.

Kevin November 10, 2007 at 3:55 pm

So, I honestly have “Write Or, The Whale” review on my schedule for this afternoon. It probably would have started with the line “I can’t believe Oz hasn’t reviewed these guys yet…”

Life and Death at Sea is an amazing song.

Looks like I have to find something else to talk about now.

oz November 10, 2007 at 4:16 pm

Lame? That’s a school night for crying out loud.

Oscar April 24, 2010 at 10:30 pm

Or The Whale is an alternative country band playing and writing alternative country songs, Americana music and indie rock. Find us on many online radio stations.

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