Sunday 3 July 2016

OAK - II (EP Review)

Release date: June 26th 2016. Label: Self Released. Format: DD

II – Tracklisting

1.Mirage 05:36
2.Against The Rain 05:41
3.A Bridge Too Far 06:30
4.Smoke 05:48

Band Members:

Vocals - Andy Valiant
Guitar - Kevin
Bass - Scott
Drums - Clinton


Psychedelic Desert/Stoner Rockers – Oak, hail from London, United Kingdom but going by this EP they could have easily grew up around the legendary Californian Desert Rock/Stoner Rock scene. As they have perfectly captured that classic Stoner Rock sound with layers of distorted Desert/Fuzz Rock.

Their new EP – II, sees Oak play a heavier blend of Stoner Rock/Metal compared to their debut EP, I which was released in November 2015. Opening track – Mirage – is a hard rocking number with Oak providing a commanding presence right from the start. The riffs have a certain Kyuss/Fu Manchu vibe to them but Oak really started to impress me when they started playing a heavier blues rock kind of sound. Andy's vocals are not your usual Desert/Stoner Rock sound as he adds a determined steel like vibe to proceedings.

Second track – Against The Rain – offers a more psychedelic doom based atmosphere that allows Oak to play a more laid-back style kind of stoner rock. It's still heavy as hell but the lyrics and Andy's vocals are more personal. Though when things become heavier it's good to hear Oak paying homage to their musical heroes whilst creating their own musical legacy.

The final two tracks – A Bridge Too Far and Smoke continue the heavy Desert/Stoner Rock sound where Andy's vocals are built upon fast-paced riffs you're never bored with. The amount of FUZZ is what holds your attention as these guys could give Truckfighters a run for their money.

A Bridge Too Far does take a little while longer to get going but that's cool as Oak experiment with their sound as they create a more slower style of music that we are used to from them. The blues based moments slow the mood right down and it can drag a little but you can never keep a great band down as Oak soon return to their fast-paced sound.

My final thoughts on II, is that Oak have delivered another well-produced EP that all fans of the Desert/Stoner Rock scene should definitely check out now. It's a much better release than their debut EP and it shows Oak show true potential for hopefully their full length album. Check this out and embrace the magical world of OAK.

Words by Steve Howe