“Gone” is the opening track for The Oohlas on “Best Stop Pop”, and the band immediately begins to create a diverse sound for themselves. There are a number of different styles that the band sticks into this first track, but perhaps the most present during “Gone” has to be an early-nineties brand of alt rock that has more than its fair share of later, Radiohead influence. The fact that different vocalists can take over (there are two in the disc’s first two tracks) allow The Oohlas to further vary their sound. This move keeps interest in the band high, as well as possibly getting more individuals into the ranks of The Oohlas fans.
The mumbled vocals that take over for the female vocals during “Tripped” are interesting; one would be hard pressed to find another album that takes vocals down that specific path. Each subsequent track on “Best Stop Pop” allows individuals another look into the eclectic minds of The Oohlas; “Across The Stars in Blue” is a fuzzy, punk-influenced track that blends equal parts “Dookie”-era Green Day and Spin Doctors. Each of the tracks on the disc could easily make it to alt rock radio; the production is solid, the tracks always interesting, and the overall demeanor of The Oohlas just has a positive feel to it.
However many hits they may chalk up on the rest of the disc, “Small Parts” pushes beyond all of them and into the minds and spirits of anyone else that may be listening. The harmonies captured by the female vocalist on this track is at least as catchy as something that The Breeders could ever come up with, while the rest of the band pushes and creates a simple but fitting backdrop for the vocals. The Oohlas are going to break it big. When the band is able to rattle off such a long and unbroken string of hits as they do on “Best Stop Pop”, the band’s future cannot be anything but bright. The style that The Oohlas may play is reminiscent of the music of the early nineties, but there is nothing dated in the sound that they ultimately come up with here. Make sure to pick up “Best Stop Pop” and keep an ear close to the ground for news about this band; they will be the next thing in retro but new rock. Buy it if you can find it.
Top Tracks: Small Parts, Rupert Krikor Chang
The Oohlas – Best Stop Pop / 2006 Stolen Transmission / 12 Tracks / http://www.theoohlas.com / http://www.stolentransmission.com / Reviewed 09 October 2006