Ox

Burnout

by Matthew Fiander

15 November 2009

 
cover art

Ox

Burnout

(Weewerk)
US: 10 Nov 2009
UK: 10 Nov 2009

On Burnout, Vancouver’s Ox isn’t afraid to go where plenty of country-tinged rock bands have gone before. Not only that, but it commits fully and with gusto to that well-worn road. Heck, within the first two songs, the band declares—on the strength of stolen guitars—“I’m gonna rock and roll all night,” right before taking the prom queen dancing. From there, the band sings of A.M. rock on the radio, coffee and cigarettes at a late-night diner, and even an ‘85 Buick up on blocks in someone’s yard.

We’ve heard all this before, right? How, then, do these sawdust anthems sound so earnest and fresh? Maybe because on all of these songs, Ox moves twanging and clear through vast country soundscapes, all the while kicking up a hazy, psychedelic dust. Maybe it’s because, on top of that, Mark Browning’s vocals are sweet with melody but weighed down with heartache. Maybe it is because any one of these songs can get etched in your head for days at a time (seriously, give “Prom Queen” a spin and see if you don’t end up humming the chorus long into the night). No matter the reason, Burnout is a solid album. Ox is unafraid to dig sounds out of the soil of American music, sounds we know all too well, and grow them to maturity in its own backyard, morphing them into something distinctly its own in the process.

Burnout

Rating:

 

We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work as independent cultural critics and historians. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times. Thanks everyone.

//comments
//related
//Mixed media
//Blogs

Violin Virtuoso L. Subramaniam Mesmerizes in Rare New York Performance (Photos)

// Notes from the Road

"Co-presented by the World Music Institute, the 92Y hosted a rare and mesmerizing performance from India's violin virtuoso L. Subramaniam.

READ the article