Oil Boom Goes For The Gold With A New Lineup and EP.
The old blessing-in-disguise cliche may be one that is overused, but it is hard to call what happened to Fort Worth band Oil Boom last August anything else that would be more fitting. That's when lead singer Brian Whitten suddenly decided to leave the band, a mere months after the group released their debut EP, Black Waxy.
As it turned out, the band didn't have to look very far for Whitten's replacement. And it can be argued most convincingly that, in Oil Boom guitarist Ryan Taylor, who very reluctantly stepped in to fill the role, the band had a stronger singer in their ranks all along.
Soldiering on, the band, which also added Epic Ruins bassist Steve Steward to its ranks, recently wrapped up work on its follow-up EP, Gold Yeller, slated for a July 31 release. The album's lead single “The Great American Shakedown” retains a lot the Black Keys/White Stripes tendencies that Waxy was strapped with, albeit with vocals slightly more Dan Auerbach-ian or Jack White-like than Whitten's grittier offerings.
Still, it's a welcome change, even for a band that has been riddled with Black Keys cover band cracks since the beginning. The rest of the disc's five tracks venture out a bit, but only as far as fellow Jack White project The Raconteurs. Granted, it remains a poppier take on that band's sound. But the fact that this is some of the most pop-oriented material of Oil Boom's career isn't really an accident either.
“I would say, with this EP, we really wanted to embrace more of the pop components in our influences,” says Taylor, the group's songwriter. “We'd been treating pop like it was a four-letter word. Instead of worrying about whether a song fit into this or that category, we just sort of went for broke with this recording.”
Nonetheless, the self-depreciating lyrical components that helped even the most derivative moments of Black Waxy seem charming remain fully intact this time around. For example, on “One Time Used-To-Be,” Taylor playfully bemoans: “Anywhere I go all the tongue-tied girls make fun of me / Anywhere I go I'm better known as a one-time used-to-be.”
Stream “The Great American Shakedown” below, and catch Oil Boom at their Dallas album release show on Saturday, August 4, at The Double Wide.