Some of my favorite bands are the ones that avoid easy characterization. Indie band Oh Man Wow have just released their debut album, and this fits that description perfectly. The band is made up of Bryan Ray on vocals / guitar, Joy Maydak on bass / guitars / keyboards, Fred Jeske on guitars, Sam Schauer on guitars, Jerry Pellizzer on drums, David Ziegler on guitars, and Roy and Rich Randall on guitars. A collaborative project, the album varies in sound with a wide array of influences. For me, it finds that sweet spot most commonly heard in the 70’s – where hard rock, metal, prog, and power pop melt into one. The album was produced by Joe Maydak and mixed / mastered by Jordon Zadorozny (of Blinker the Star fame). It’s an impressive debut that is more than the sum of its parts.
Bad Blossom is a perfect opener, opening with a moody progressive soundscape. A sense of doom permeates the song in alluring fashion. The vocals wouldn’t sound out of place on a Dio album, which is an interesting juxtaposition with the music. Lyrically poetic. “Where’s the hand that takes away, all the grief, all the grief.” Simons Gate rides a killer guitar groove towards a chant like mantra “The two of us are here / now one must disappear / If we’re going to be at Simons Gate / we must make this point clear.” Dungeons & Dragons in feel, to be sure. But it is quite a hard rock song. Dear has a bit of a lighter vibe, fuzztone guitars and metal-tinged vocals. Not quite a power ballad, but it feels inspired by some of those 80’s anthems. Jealous Sisters features intricate instrumentation with an infectious bassline pulling it all together. As a closing tracking, it works really well. It’s on the softer side as far as tunes on this album go.
You can pick up the album via Bandcamp. I can’t wait to see what comes next from this group.
Verdict: Inspired Debut
For Fans of: Genesis, Rush, Lusk, Blinker the Star, Rainbow
- Bad Bloom
- Find The Keys
- Penny In My Head
- Simons Gate
- Levy the Giant
- Jealous Sisters