Ohana
Dead Beat


4.5
superb

Review

by Andrew H. EMERITUS
September 23rd, 2008 | 125 replies | 14,693 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Brilliant in every way, Ohana's second album is the finest example of Australian screamo since Love Like...Electrocution's self-titled album.

Ohana's first record Weak Wrists is an album that even two years on from its release can be considered one of the finest achievements in Australian DIY hardcore since. Its fusion of tricky math rock chaos with literary lyrical content and hints of unconventional post-rock ideas awarded Ohana support slots with everyone from Off Minor to Explosions in the Sky. At just over half the length of Weak Wrists, Dead Beat has twice that record's focus and precision.

Certainly the recent trend of minimalism seen in bands like My Disco (and their excellent full length Paradise, released this year) has carried over to Ohana for Dead Beat. The wordy song titles and 8 minute instrumentals of Weak Wrists are long gone. However, while a band like My Disco seems to strive for minimalism as an aesthetic and a means of challenging musical and songwriting ability, Ohana use minimalism to emphasise key emotional moments in their songwriting, both musically and lyrically. Take the album's longest track "Birth of the Clinic" as an example. The entire track builds around a frantic guitar riff to one of the noisiest parts of the album, only to climax on a brutal, impassioned scream of the simple line "What goes in my mouth/Comes out yours" accompanied by a drum pattern so sparse it almost doesn't exist. Indeed, what's so astounding about Dead Beat is that in its 26 minute running time, not a second of it feels wasted, and not a second of it is less than great. Throughout the record we get the sense that everything in every single song is so meticulously controlled that there is nothing that doesn't happen exactly the way Ohana wants it to. Sure, the band are incredibly tight, but that's not really what the music is about. Each musician knows so precisely what he is contributing to the song that not a single note or word on the entire album is without a specific purpose.

Comparisons come easily, yet even the conglomeration of every possible comparison can't quite pinpoint Ohana's sound. The angular, catchy basslines lie somewhere in the middle of Off Minor and Interpol while the guitars seem to be equally influenced by modern screamo bands such as Daïtro as they are influenced by mid-90s math rock, noise and post-hardcore. The drums are deceptively complex; often schizophrenic, alternating between fast, complex ideas and catchy rock and dance beats. Vocalist/guitarist Will Farrier alternates between unmelodic yelps, raw screams and and weird, almost eerie Battles-esque falsettos. Ultimately, Ohana's songs are far more than the sum of their parts.

Dead Beat is an album that manages to combine technical precision with songwriting and performance that is simultaneously incredibly moving and incredibly fucking cool. Its 26 minute running time plays host to so many amazing moments; the subtle climax of "One On Four", or the choppy opening riff of "End Fabric Indefinite", or the incredible dissonant catchiness of "Bad Credit/Good Posture", or the crazy noise of "They Scoundrels" that is replaced by the coolest bass riff written all year. There are many more moments that could be listed, but to do so would be pointless. If Dead Beat is not perfect record, it certainly gets closer to perfection than most bands ever do with a single release and for that reason it deserves to be counted amongst records such as Love Like...Electrocution's self-titled album as one of the finest examples of Australian DIY music.



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user ratings (21)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
br3ad_man
Emeritus
September 23rd 2008



2125 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This was somewhere between a 4 and a 4.5, so being a local release and likely my favourite album of the year at this point, I rounded the rating up. Anyone interested can check out some songs at www.myspace.com/ohanamusic

Here's a video of "One On Four" as well: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNiq3q66M9E



rasputin
September 23rd 2008



14512 Comments


Fantastic review. I'm not really well versed on the aussie hardcore/screamo scene, but I'll have a listen to this.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
September 23rd 2008



2125 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Cheers.

Should also mention that they have a tour coming up for anyone in Australia interested, dates are on their myspace. They were amazing last tour.

rasputin
September 23rd 2008



14512 Comments


Yeah, I just saw that. The myspace tracks were quite good, I'll try and have a listen to this before they come over here.

KritikalMotion
September 23rd 2008



2261 Comments


extremely interested

LLE... are fucking good.

sgrevs
September 23rd 2008



698 Comments


Awesome review, I gotta get this somehow, though I doubt I'll find it in many stores. I'll also try get to their Sydney show, though I'd rather see their Wollongong show supported by My Disco.

ultradolphins
September 23rd 2008



47 Comments


the love like electrocution references are pretty far off
other than that its a great review of a fantastic cd
Ohana don't really have any of the pretension that LLE had.
They seem to be going a little back to their first album here compared to weak wrists but in a much much more accomplished way.
I like. Top Aussie release of the year for me too
They have a live release coming out soon, should be excellent

br3ad_man
Emeritus
September 23rd 2008



2125 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

You're in Sydney right dude? They're selling it at Red Eye and a couple of others I think. Tenzenmen distro has it in stock as well if you want to go that route.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
September 23rd 2008



2125 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I didn't actually compare their music to LLE at all. That would be a pretty silly comparison.

ultradolphins
September 23rd 2008



47 Comments


Nah just stating that Love Like Electrocution is Australia's best screamo music is a long bow to draw as much as I like them

br3ad_man
Emeritus
September 23rd 2008



2125 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, I agree with that. I wouldn't necessarily say that they are, but they're easily one of the most well known Australian screamo bands and probably one of the only ones for most sputnik users.

honourosis
September 23rd 2008



63 Comments


i found out about these dudes a couple days ago and dug what i heard. hopefully i can find a link to it pretty soon.

DFelon204409
Emeritus
September 23rd 2008



3995 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

So this is pretty kewl so far.

Tits McGee
September 23rd 2008



1876 Comments


will listen

P13
September 23rd 2008



1327 Comments


The wordy song titles and 8 minute instrumentals of Weak Wrists are long gone.

So they noticed that it is pretentious?

kitsch
September 23rd 2008



5107 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^^anyone with an aphex twin avatar and is digging 65daysofstatic should have a raging boner for pretentiousness.


great review, ive been trying to hunt this down. is there somewhere i could download this? i never buy cold.This Message Edited On 09.23.08

Doppelganger
September 23rd 2008



3124 Comments


sounds awesome

P13
September 23rd 2008



1327 Comments


^^anyone with an aphex twin avatar and is digging 65daysofstatic should
have
a raging boner for pretentiousness.

Mmmmmkay

Pretentious means that they attempt to be better than they are, but they fail. AFX
and 65daysofstatic do not.

]SPUTNIKMUSIC DOES NOT CONDONE ILLEGAL
DOWNLOADING


just had to get that across
09.23.08This Message Edited On 09.23.08This Message Edited On 09.23.08

br3ad_man
Emeritus
September 23rd 2008



2125 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

With how much I love this album and with it being such a DIY release, I'm not going to upload it for anyone.

For anyone who is really interested though, I have a bootleg that has a lot of these songs on it. As far as I know the band are ok with that.

P13
September 23rd 2008



1327 Comments


Do they have any of it playing on their myspace/anywhere?





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