d.oh – A Lukewarm Reception – EP Review
I was a massive fan of this band’s name until the moment I tried to search for any information related to the music on the ol’ interweb – now I’m not so much a fan of this choice, given that I’m lost in a never-ending sea of Homer Simpson postings & tribute pages without finding any of the information I’m looking for in the process. So…information-wise…you got it, you guessed it – I’ve got absolutely none for you! Who wants to know all that mumbo-jumbo about who wrote or played-what anyhow?
It’s probably a really good thing that the music is decent… Where’s my coffee? I’m not giving up the search that easily…let’s get to the bottom of this…
Wouldn’t you know it…a little coffee can go a very long way. Couple of links here and there, and of course we follow the maze right to the Facebook page where clearly we’ve found the guy responsible – his name is Daniel Oh, based out of Toronto…and much like I’m sure you’ve already assumed, his interests are cheese.
Hmm. Yeah…no that IS what it says…just had another sip, wiped my eyes & cleaned my glasses but that information seems to be correct; the musician responsible has but one interest…cheese.
So…well…I mean…seems like, uh, it seems like we, hmm…we got the information we were so desperately searching for…sooooo with the most socially-awkward transition one can possibly put into writing – how’s about we head back over to the music and stick to talking about that?
Again…thankfully there are plenty of great things happening in the music, despite Daniel’s true-interests lying elsewhere; there’s considerably less cheese in this music than I feel like I’ve been led to believe at this point. As the new EP – A Lukewarm Reception – begins to start with “There Goes My Heart,” Daniel and the sounds of d.oh have found me interested in the music on the inside of a minute with only a couple notes and a clever vocal-melody. As the song passes ninety-seconds in, the beat springs to life and other rubbery electro-sounds step into the opening tune. Chorus is catchy…overall the composition is already something you can hear standing out as unique; of course there are bands and artists scattered throughout music’s history from the 80’s & forward that you can hear have influenced the songs on this EP…but there’d be so many to list that’d you’d be better off just writing in ‘cheese’ instead. Hmm…maybe I get where Daniel’s coming from now…
d.oh would be a very tough one to pin down or categorize. The smooth ride of “There Goes My Heart” has the self-described indie-electro feel to it; very easy to digest this melody and take in the atmosphere – Daniel’s done a great job on this opening tune with a very minimal setting. Almost all of the melody you’ll hear, he’s discovered in the combination of vocals to the music – but make no mistake, he carries the weight in this opening tune and does a great job right off the bat.
“There Goes My Heart” leads into a more guitar/bass/drums-led track with “Shut Me Down”…almost Elvis Costello in style when it first starts, but with a little more of a tinge of the blues. It breaks from what might sound like it’s heading towards a rock-vibe to a more R&B-meets-blues track. Guitars shine around the three-minute mark in behind the rapped out verse from Daniel…which…he’s got turned down just a little bit in comparison to the rest. I get it…he’s not a rapper…but if you’re going to include it – let your confidence be your guide; if it’s good enough to be recorded, make sure it’s heard! It’s still audible enough to make it all out, and truthfully Daniel does a fine job…and again truthfully I’d probably be inclined to mix this the same if I had recorded it myself.
That being said…when guest-stars Macon Hamilton & Adam Noble-Marks stop by to assist d.oh on “49” – this whole party springs to life…and rap-wise, it’s all mixed right in there where it should be and I think when back-to-back with “Shut Me Down” – you’ll hear the difference between this recording and the last and what I mean about that mix/confidence factor. Daniel’s confident in his guest-star’s rap abilities – he should be – they came out and killed it…and as a result they shine in the mix of “49.” Also one of the most inventive beats you’ll find on A Lukewarm Reception – “49” starts a pivotal shift for d.oh into a more energetic & innovative vibe that continues into “Scaring The Child.”
Enveloped in an audible-fog & mysterious-shroud as this final song begins…excellent effects on the vocals and in the music; leaves crunching are referenced in the lyrics and the sample is a perfect match. Really fantastic use of vocal-samples of screams being used in the music before Daniel takes the music of d.oh towards a more synthetic-beat and rapped out verse. And he’s got his confidence & mix up here! You can hear every word clearly & delivered precisely as the music grinds to a halt…before starting up one last final blast in “Scaring The Child” that plays like a blend of everything at once in an electronic wall-of-sound that blazes to the end.
What I enjoyed most about A Lukewarm Reception is just how anti-typical it was. There are so many familiar influences and styles, tones and atmospheres – but assembled through Daniel’s perspective they’ve all become extremely unique combinations. Better yet, these songs are completely identifiable in their sound – you’d recognize d.oh the next time you heard it and that’s one hell of a start.
You can find out more from the d.oh official page at: http://www.ohitsdoh.com/
Join the thousands of bands & artists reviewed at sleepingbagstudios by clicking here!