The Most Underrated Band on The Planet: A Retrospective
Part 5 - Big bulging eyes like frogs in the hands of boyhood
At first glance Okumay
is a disappointing way for the band to go out - it’s short, simple, bare, and it’s not a “revelation” like Just Got Back From The Discomfort. Okumay
was an anticlimactic way for a band like The Brave Little Abacus to go out. It’s three new songs, one cover, and hardly groundbreaking, the songs are much simpler, bare, stripped back. But once I freed myself from lofty expectations and comparisons, I started to realize I might be approaching it wrong, and it hit me that three of the four songs (all but the cover) are among TBLA’s best songs. Okumay
is not experimental in any way, it doesn’t advance the band’s sound. It doesn’t even attempt to live up to JGB,
and that’s what makes it perfect.
is fun. It’s The Brave Little Abacus' least challenging, most pop oriented record. Keyboard is often a secondary instrument for TBLA, hanging out in the background, providing atmosphere and counterpoint, but on Okumay,
Zack’s ‘boards carry the music. Upbeat keyboard riffs and Adam’s most polished vocal performance to date make Okumay
an experiment in what The Brave Little Abacus would sound like if they were a “normal” band. They have the songwriting chops to pull off the stripped down sound; There are no samples (OK one, but it’s short), no weird stuff, no bullshit, just four fast and furious emo tracks. There’s really nothing new to be found, but that’s OK because Okumay
is icing on the discography-cake.
Despite their limitless appeal, The Brave Little Abacus remains largely unknown. I hope with all my heart that starts to change. It took a decade after fellow emo greats American Football broke up for them to catch on, so there is hope. It’s disheartening knowing that a band with such potential broke up, that a band whose whole discography is strange and exciting has so few fans. I take solace that the average TBLA fan is a devoted fanatic, but our numbers are still alarmingly thin. The Brave Little Abacus is important to me, they’re important to the genre, and to music in general: And that’s it, two full lengths, an EP, a split, and a demo. A legacy cemented. Pound for pound TBLA is the best emo band that ever was. Perhaps Adam and company were too ambitious to succeed. Adam said it best with, “Ambitions always double the weight of the world.” Eclectic, fun, challenging, catchy, The Brave Little Abacus where everything an emo band should be, but they’re dead, dead and buried, gone forever, a blip on the radar, a cult project that likely will never generate money, but that’s OK. What we have is enough. In the morning I’ll be fine.