March 29, 2010

Oto Spooky-Oto Spooky Review

The biggest criticism of Oto Spooky is that this isn’t an easy listen. In fact it is quite the opposite.  Whilst appreciating the unique, progressive sound Oto Spooky are aiming to achieve, the opening to the album, particularly “Gypsy God” suggests they have gone one step too far.
In terms of composition, Oto Spooky is very full, with ample layers to each track. However, in tracks such as “Flies On Nitro”, the layers are juxtaposed in a way that makes for a generally uncomfortable listen.

“Zirobinel” provides a relaxing break, although this is short lived. Thankfully, “Feathers And Weights” is significantly easier on the ear, and has a much greater flow, and the layers all seem to fit together better than in the opening songs. More in keeping with mainstream indie-pop, it follows a more recognizable pattern, and as a result requires much less concentration.

Sadly for listeners, this rest bite from the overwhelming sound of Oto Spooky is short lived, as “Vivarium Station” is best described as a creepy cacophony of noise.

It is clear that, individually, Oto Spooky are very good musicians- on their own each of the layers are very impressive- but it seems that the layers just aren’t complimenting one another. Had this been a simply produced album, with a minimalist sound, then both the listening experience and this review would be very different. However, it is the feeling that Oto Spooky has over-complicated matters to spoil their sound.

This is not to say the songs aren’t good. Vocally, they are intriguing, even if Julien Wack’s voice occasionally seems a bit monotonous, and when they are allowed to flow all the songs are perfectly charming. However this would seem to be kept to the minimum.

By far the best track on the album is “Get The Dancin’ On”. Less melancholy than the rest of the album, it is the song that also seems to fit together the best, and makes the best use of all the instruments and voices involved. It is unfortunate however that this is the final track on the album- it seems unlikely that many will get to sample this delightful piece of music.

Overall, it must be said that Oto Spooky is a frustrating album, one of (sadly) more lows than highs. It deserves credit for its effort more than its execution, and although the moments that shine are quite wonderful, they will always seem wasted, drowned in the over-complicated pool of noise that makes up the rest of the album.

2/5 Stars

Angus Marriott 

March 29, 2010

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