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oOoOO - Our Loving is Hurting Us

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Artist: oOoOO

Album: Our Loving is Hurting Us

Label: Tri Angle

Review date: May. 31, 2012


oOoOO - "NoWayBack" (Our Loving is Hurting Us)


San Franciscoís oOoOO enjoys wallowing in the reverb-soaked atmospheres and skittery beats associated with the ill-favored witch house scene, but even if that scene does exist as a cohesive thing, oOoOO is an outlier. From his earliest tracks like "NoSummr4u" through the self-titled album, heís used a glossier sheen and shown a willingness to let his inner pop artist loose. Compared with Mater Suspiria Vision, Glass Teeth, and Ritualz, oOoOO is offering a much friendlier sound.

That said, thereís still an overabundance of hazy minor-key synths and stuttering drums -- "TryTry" opens this 18-minute EP with a metallic clanking rhythm over a pulsing kick beat, with delicate filigrees of chopped vocals wavering around it. The rhythm stumbles and stutters as the goth-tinged synths and choirs float around it, until the song fades away in a manner that leaves it feeling incomplete.

Itís the vaguely hooky melodies, mainly expressed by thin keyboard plinking and dreamy vocals, that offer glimpses of a way forward. The main issue is that the rhythms here are pretty ordinary, and feel as though theyíre simply present because theyíre expected. From the by-the-books kick-snare stutter of "Starr" to the regular clip-clop of "Break Yr Heart," one gets the sense that oOoOO would prefer to just get to the melody, which in the latter seems to borrow the vocoder from BrightBlackMorningLight.

Itís in the blending of woozy atmospheres and shiny prettiness that these tracks come to life, but thatís in a relative sense. While playing, theyíre enjoyable enough, but feel weighed down by an overall ennui thatís never overcome. The Maggot Brain-inspired guitar solo in "Starr" might be the most memorable moment overall, partly because itís unexpected. Everything else seems comparatively flat and unsurprising; while the components of the individual songs are different, the results are of a kind, like a set of recipes using the same ingredients.

By Mason Jones

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