ox

Ox – Burnout [Album Review]

by Woody on November 2, 2009

ox

One of our favorite Canadian acts are back at it with a new EP, Burnout. The foursome has added a little psychedelia/freak folk to their alt-country 70’s sound. That is never more evident than on “Speedwagon,” a tune that slowly builds with some shapeless fiddle and lazy guitar picking. Mark Browning’s weary voice works wonders with Ryan Bishop’s earnest harmonies as the band arrives at the big finish with lyrics about the 8-Track stereo blasting Kiss and REO Speedwagon.

And while Ox might have added a couple of new flourishes to the mix, the main formula is the same. What I’ve always loved about Ox is that their songs are more like character studies, spinning tales about people slipping through the cracks of life. “Prom Queen” and “Ojibway Diner” are both fantastic tunes that really seep into your being after a few listens.

As far as I can tell, the reason that Burnout is an EP as opposed to an LP is that these songs were recorded back on the West Coast of Canada where they did American Lo-Fi and Dust Bowl Revival. They have since relocated to Sudbury for what hopefully be a forthcoming LP in 2010. Until then, enjoy this fine EP.

Ox – Burnout

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ox burnout

Ox is releasing the follow up to 2006’s spectacularly lazy alt-country album, American Lo-Fi, on October 6th. The band was nice enough to offer HearYa an exclusive mp3 download to offer our readers/listeners. Here is “Unknown Legend” off of the upcoming Burnout. If you don’t own it, I’d also recommend checking out American Lo-Fi asap.

Ox – Unknown Legend

From American Lo-Fi:

Ox – Surrender (Cheap Trick Cover)

Video: Ox – Unknown Legend

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New Years 2009

The artwork above was found at Colorcubic, an ultra-hip design firm that handles multimedia, print, branding, etc. This poster will be made available in their online store.

We may say good riddance to 2008 as a nation, but as we posted our top 50 albums of 2008, it was easy to reflect on an amazing year in music. I have a feeling 2009 will be even better. Here are the albums we’re looking forward to in the new year.

1. The Deep Dark Woods – Winter Hours (February 2009)

The first single, “All The Money I Had Is Gone,” is now streaming on their MySpace page. If the album is as good as that track, we’re in for a special treat. Their last album, Hang Me Oh Hang Me, is one of my most listened to of the past two years.

From Hang Me Oh Hang Me:

The Deep Dark Woods – Hang Me Oh Hang Me

2. Andrew Bird – Noble Beast

The best whistler on the planet. Hands down.

Video: Andrew Bird – Oh No (from upcoming album Noble Beast)

2. Dan Auerbach – Keep It Hid (February 10th, 2009)

Ever wonder what The Black Keys might sound like acoustic? Dan Auerbach’s leadoff track on his upcoming album appears to be adding a bit more country and acoustic tastes on his upcoming solo album, along with the signature blues sounds. Look for Hacienda backing him on his upcoming tour.‚  Stream some tracks at Nonesuch Records.

3. M. Ward – Hold Time (February 2009)

This guy can do no wrong. Hold Time features guest performances by Lucinda Williams, Jason Lytle (ex-Grandaddy) and the ‘she’ of She and Him, Zooey Deschanel.

4. Alela Diane – To Be Still (February 17th)

I really loved her debut, The Pirate’s Gospel.‚  She has a soulful voice and a knack for songwriting. Here’s the first track from the upcoming album.

Alela Diane – White As Diamonds

5. Justin Townes Earle – Midnight At The Movies (March 2009)

Early reports from inside Bloodshot Records indicate that Justin Towne’s Earle’s upcoming release is better than his debut. Check out our live session for some songs from his previous album, The Good Life.

6. Neko Case – Middle Cyclone (March 3)

I’m most excited about her cover art.

Video: Neko Case – Making of Middle Cyclone

7. The Decemberists – Hazards of Love (March 24th)

They get better with every album. See no reason why that trend shouldn’t continue.

8. Ox – Burn Out (Spring 2009)

The title track was released recently and it’s another alt-country peach of a tune.

Ox – Burn Out

9. The Thermals – Now We Can See (April 2009)

Found a new label (Kill Rock Stars) but still looking for a new drummer. Get ready for the follow up to The Body, The Blood, The Machine.

From The Body, The Blood, The Machine:

The Thermals – Pillar of Salt

The Thermals – Here’s Your Future

10. Lucero -TBD Title (Summer 2009)

The Tennessee lads signed to Universal Records and will be releasing their sixth studio LP in the summer. Until then, listen to Ben Nichols solo album, Last Pale Light In The West, inspired by Cormac McCarthy’s book Blood Meridian.

Ben Nichols – Toadvine

11. The Everybodyfields – TBD Title and Release Date

We were late to the game but now that we’ve found them, we’re obsessed. They are unreal. We were lucky to get an early taste of two of their new tracks during our live session with The Everybodyfields.

Exclusive: The Everybodyfields – Gun

Exclusive: The Everybodyfields – Mardi Gras

Exclusive: The Everybodyfields – City Noise

12. The Avett Brothers- TBD Title and Release Date

The boys left Ramseur Records for Rick Rubin’s label, American Imprint (under Columbia Records’ umbrella), and are recording a new full length album with Rubin at the controls.

13. Tulsa – TBD Title and Release Date

I Was Submerged has been a favorite for two years, but it just teases us. It’s time for a full length. The band is currently recording in Chicago as we speak.

From I Was Submerged:

Tulsa – #2

14. Ha Ha Tonka -TBD Title and Release Date

Bloodshot Records newbies killed their sets at SXSW 2008 and put out one of the best albums of 2007. We’ve got high hopes for their sophomore effort.‚  Check out our live session to hear some older tracks.

15. Wilco -TBD Title (Spring 2009)

Wilco – One Wing (Live at Lollapalooza via Stereogum)

Video: Wilco – One Wing (also Live at Lolla)

Other notable releases are also coming out from U2, Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band, The Gourds, Built To Spill, The New Pornographers, Handsome Furs, and The National (maybe).

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Top 10 Albums We Missed In 2007

by Woody on December 11, 2008

As Oz and I tirelessly compile our list of 2008’s top 50 albums, we continue to bring up 2007 releases that were inexplicably left off last year’s list. Let’s chalk it up to rookie blogging or heads up asses.

The good news is that most of the acts listed below have releases coming out in ’09. Our best EP’s of ’08 will be out tomorrow and watch out for the top 50 albums of ’08 next week.

1. The Everybodyfields – Nothing Is Okay


I am so pissed that I first found out about them earlier this year. They are amazing musicians with beautiful vocals singing timeless songs.

The Everybodyfields – Aeroplane

The Everybodyfields – Everything Is Okay

The Everybodyfields – Don’t Turn Around

The Everybodyfields – Lonely Anywhere

Here more tracks over at The Everybodyfields Live Session.

2. Delta Spirit – Ode To Sunshine

Loved the album but seeing them live at SXSW cemented their place as one of my favorites. “People C’mon” is one of the best songs of 2007. Couldn’t find a track – Sorry.

3. The Acorn – Glory Hope Mountain

I was late on the scene with these guys but am absolutely enthralled with them now. The intricacy of their music is amazing to see live.

The Acorn – Crooked Legs

The Acorn – Flood Pt. I (from the HearYa Live Session w/ The Acorn)

4. Ox – American Lo-Fi

Mark Browning was born to sing Alt-Country. At this point, I can’t even stomach Cheap Trick’s original version of “Surrender” but Ox’s version is outstanding.

Ox – Miss Idaho

Ox – Surrender

Ox – Sugar Cane

5. The Bees – Octupus

I liked this last year and have no clue how we left it off the list. Probably for the same reason we just realized that Drive-By Truckers wasn’t on our 2008 list until tonight. Our heads are often up our collective asses over here.

The Bees – This Is For The Better Days

6. Deer Tick – War Elephant

War Elephant was another ’07 album that was just re-released in ’08.

Deer Tick – Art Isn’t Real (City of Sin)

7. The Deep Dark Woods – Hang Me Oh Hang Me

In my review of this album, I compared them to myself on acid wearing a Cowboy hat. In spite of my limited literary skills, check ’em out.

The Deep Dark Woods – Hang Me Oh Hang Me

8. AA Bondy – American Hearts

After seeing him perform for our Live Session, it was apparent that Gus (aka Bondy) is the true embodiment of a musician. You feel better for the opportunity to speak with him, not to mention hearing him play.

Exclusive: A.A. Bondy – Rapture Sweet Rapture

Exclusive: A.A. Bondy – There Is A Reason

Both tracks from our AA Bondy Live Session.

9. Bean Pickers Union – Potlatch

Want something cheery? Listen to Beyonce’s alter ego, Sasha Fierce. Want a slice of dark Americana? Listen to The Bean Picker’s Union.

Bean Pickers Union – Potlatch

10. Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago

Jagjaguwar re-released this in ’08 but Oz is a stickler for the rules, so it’s staying off our ’08 list.‚  To be honest, I am not really into Bon Iver, but Oz threatened to fire me if I didn’t include it.

Bon Iver – Skinny Love

Did you discover a great ’07 album in ’08? Let us know.

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Ox – Burn Out, Fembots – In The Red [new mp3’s]

November 22, 2008

(weewerk) records just turned 6 years old is releasing a compilation of rare and unreleased tracks from several of their artists, including Ox, Great Lake Swimmers, and the Fembots. I’m not a huge fan of compilations, but I am a fan of the label and its artists. Ox is the perfect band to take a […]

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