Audio-OK – Good Men (CD)

“The Good Man” has an uptempo enough drum beat opening the track, while the guitar that enters into the equation soon after sets the stage for an odd little bit of alternative music, comparable to Cake, Devo, and Pere Ubu. There is a richness to “The Good Man” that is simply not present in any of the aforementioned acts; in that sense, it feels almost as if Audio-OK had taken on a bit more Talking Heads than anything else, while refining that sound with a bit of Pavement.

The strong chorus makes it quite possible that Audio-OK could grab some much-deserved college radio play, and gives listeners the boost that they need to stick with the rest of the album. “Daily Routine” immediately comes forth as more complex than “The Good Man”, but seems to follow the same deliberate approach “The Good Man” such a palatable sound. Alongside the difference in complexity, there is a more distorted and heavy sound to be had at points during the track. While there is a call, collected moment or two to be had during the stanzas of “Daily Routine”, the chaos that is introduced via the guitars during the chorus showcases a quite different side of the act to listeners. The chiaroscuro achieved through the inclusion of these dark and light pieces bodes well for subsequent Audio-OK recordings, and ensures that listeners will have little idea where the band may go with other tracks.

“Bad News” stands as a pinnacle amongst a mountain range, in that it collects the different nuances and idiosyncrasies present in the other tracks on “Good Men” to make an authoritative sound that represents the whole of the Audio OK experience. Rather than merely being a rehash of the different tacks taken during “Good Men”, Audio-OK imbues the track with a funky delivery that acts as an additional blast of warmth to a dark and mechanical-based set of instrumental arrangements. There may only be seven tracks on the album, but Audio-OK has made a last release that will be hard to top.

Top Track: Bad News

Rating: 8.3/10

Audio-OK – Good Men / 2009 Self / 7 Tracks / http://www.audiook.net / http://www.myspace.com/audiook

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