Okkervil River
The Stage Names


4.0
excellent

Review

by The Door Mouse USER (29 Reviews)
August 6th, 2007 | 16 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Okkervil River fuses simplistic instrumentals with a loud broad voice for their 2007 effort The Stage Names.

Having two sister bands is sort of like having an alter ego. Take Sparta and The Mars Volta for example. Both hailing from Post-Hardcore legends At the Drive-In, Sparta represents the Post-Hardcore side while The Mars Volta represents the more Neo-Psychedelia/ Progressive side, yet they still have roots to their mother band. Then there are the two bands Shearwater and Okkervil River. Both show similarities and differences. While Shearwater symbolizes more of a Folk/ Indie side, Okkervil River exemplify a more Post-Punk side. With Okkervil River’s 2007 release The Stage Names, they loudly demonstrate their sound.

With the opening of the album “Our Life Is Not A Movie Or Maybe” you hear thumping drums and lead singer Will Sheff go from a mellow sound to belting out every note. “A Hand To Take Hold Of The Scene” shows a quicker and more fun sound with up-beat guitar and a toe-taping bassline. You get a softer feel of the album with “Savannah Smiles”. A quiet guitar along with placid vocals makes for a slow song to relax to. “Girl In Port”, while just as relaxing as a song like “Savannah Smiles”, features a smooth, lush piano and guitar and peaceful vocals from Sheff. “You Can’t Hold The Hand Of Rock And Roll Man” snaps this streak of mellow songs with its more straightforward rock sound featuring a slight distortion of the guitar, louder vocals and some broader instrumentalism with loud trumpet sounding violin in the background. “John Allyn Smtih Sails” is an excellent way to close the album with it starting out soft as it grows in to a loud broad song with thumping drums and soaring vocals.

As far as the overall sound of the album goes, I can say that this is extremely vocally driven with Will Sheff’s loud broad voice. If I could compare it to anyone else’s voice, I’d say that it deeply embodies a young Bono and David Byrne, Post-Punk voice. He will show soft smoothness one second then belt out a broad loud sound the next. Even when he is not at his loudest, he still shows no signs of timidity or feebleness what so ever. With the instrumentals, they base them off of pure simplistic melodies. No solos and chilling breakdowns or any thing like that but rather very modest and very well fitting with the Will’s voice.

Overall, with mellow, lush instrumentals complimenting loud, broad vocals, Okkervil River make a valiant effort. They don’t try too hard to make jaw-dropping solos or overwhelming breakdowns, but rather just make simplistic music to relax to, proving that Okkervil River are one of the most unsung bands that I’ve heard.

Pros
Broad, loud voice
Simple melodies
Lush instruments

Cons
If you don’t like a Bono-ish voice and you wont like this

For stream of the entire album:
http://www.myspace.com/okkervilriver



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Comments:Add a Comment 
The Door Mouse
August 6th 2007


2092 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Wow no comments?

Tyler
Emeritus
August 6th 2007


7926 Comments


Put the stream in here. This isn't out yet.

The Door Mouse
August 6th 2007


2092 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Do myspace streams count?This Message Edited On 08.06.07

Tyler
Emeritus
August 6th 2007


7926 Comments


Yes, as long as it's official.This Message Edited On 08.06.07

The Door Mouse
August 6th 2007


2092 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Ok then

JAD
August 6th 2007


200 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I heard Our Life Is Not A Movie or Maybe and it was pretty good. I'm going to check this band out further, nice review.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
August 6th 2007


2125 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album's great. My review will be up soon.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
August 7th 2007


15743 Comments


wow way to steal an old avatar of mine zepdude.

Digging: Flying Lotus - You're Dead!

MrKite
August 7th 2007


5020 Comments


I found that you could have stayed on one subject longer, like less brief with the descriptions of each song.

However, I still think this is a good review.

This Message Edited On 08.06.07

The Door Mouse
August 7th 2007


2092 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

wow way to steal an old avatar of mine zepdude.

I apologize, I honestly had no idea.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
August 7th 2007


15743 Comments


Well, make sure it doesn't happen again. I will have to hurt you.

The Door Mouse
August 12th 2007


2092 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You've never heard anyone use that word?

MrKite
August 14th 2007


5020 Comments


I've always heard psychedelia, never psychedelica.

The Door Mouse
August 14th 2007


2092 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hmm? Maybe I've been hearing it wrong? I'll change it I guess.

londoncalling457
August 29th 2007


2608 Comments


I saw these guys briefly on Conan O'Brien last night, but didn't hear much because I had the volume low and was a little intoxicated. I do remember thinking that at first glance, the lead singer looks a little like John Lennon and they had a lot of energy so maybe I will check this out.

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
July 23rd 2008


4927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"Overall, with mellow, lush instrumentals complimenting loud, broad vocals, Okkervil River make a valiant effort. They don’t try too hard to make jaw-dropping solos or overwhelming breakdowns"

This wins



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