Oxbow
Thin Black Duke


4.5
superb

Review

by butcherboy CONTRIBUTOR (121 Reviews)
July 2nd, 2017 | 71 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A well-read thug..

It’s been a cool decade since The Narcotic Story slinked, crashed, f*cked and bullied its way to the top of Year-End lists among more partisan music publications. The musical landscape has gone through a dizzying amount of motions since then, but Oxbow never seemed like a band who would notice. They’re back and up to their taped ears in the old groove. And they still sound damn good.

The ten-year gap is felt in Thin Black Duke’s smallest rucks and creases. Older and wiser might be a hokey way of putting it, but this is a sneakily classy record through and through. High-pitched horn swells serrate their way through the mammoth crush that the band churn on “Cold and Well-Lit Place.” Asymmetrical patterns and twitchy, shifting crescendos give “Letter of Note” an elegant avant-garde polish. Most importantly, on “Other People,” the band show a bent and distorted sort of patience. How they managed all of it without the raw viscera slipping between their fingers is the biggest feather in Oxbow’s cap.

And as far as coarse agitation and passion go, Oxbow’s cup runneth over. Dense and agile at once, Thin Black Duke throbs like a coiled spring. Math rock, hardcore, experimental, blues, noise and some warped jazz all get smashed together into a cohesive whole, a thing that moves like an attacking animal. The songs manage to sound immediate, all the while being so busy with ingredients, sequences and howls that it seems like they might split at the seams at any moment.

Between their enigmatically crude front-men, and music that contemplates as much as it ambushes, comparisons to Swans have swarmed around Oxbow for years. But their lean and nimble convulsions lift them above Gira’s unwieldy monuments to professional artistry. Nothing as stilted and posed, Oxbow mine aesthetic ground that sticks closer to the kind of controlled chaos Jesus Lizard were swirling in in the early 90’s. It’s art rock that actually rocks, smart music that still packs a punch, and it is all the more terrifying and f*cking delectable for it.



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user ratings (124)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
July 2nd 2017


8874 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Can't stop listening to this fucker.. edging its way to the top of my year-end list..

Digging: Jackdaw with Crowbar - Hot Air

NeroCorleone80
July 2nd 2017


34463 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

About time someone reviewed this. Huge props.

Digging: G Herbo - Humble Beast

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
July 2nd 2017


14074 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah this needed a review bad. I was working on one but writers block got in the way

Digging: Daughters - You Won't Get What You Want

BMDrummer
July 2nd 2017


14352 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

fuuuuuuuuuck i need to hear this

DoofusWainwright
July 2nd 2017


20001 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review, easy top 10 album of the year so far.

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
July 2nd 2017


8874 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

cheers, Doof.. this one has climbed into my top 5 at this point..

NeroCorleone80
July 2nd 2017


34463 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I doubt anything else will surpass this for me

clavier
Contributing Reviewer
July 2nd 2017


818 Comments


I was surprised this didn't already get covered, great review man

Digging: Milanku - Monument du non?-?tre & Mouvement du non?-?vivant

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
July 2nd 2017


8874 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

thanks, Claire.. and Nero, Perfume Genius just rubs me in all the right ways, so he's still the top for me, but we'll see.. this thing is a 4.5 and growing..

hansoloshotfirst
July 3rd 2017


1098 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

good review. album needs a few listens to be fully embraced though. saw them as a opener for Sumac earlier this year. they were great.

TheSpaceMan
July 3rd 2017


11574 Comments


Your reviewing style has gotten very strong, enjoyed this one alot. easy pos

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
July 3rd 2017


8874 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

thanks very much, Space..



cheers, han.. This has so much happening in it, that you do need to keep listening for all of it to hit you.. and it's primal enough to just sound fucking good.. hitting all the spots for me..

FullOfSounds
July 3rd 2017


15764 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review man. One of my favorites of the year

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
July 3rd 2017


8874 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

cheers, Sounds.. same here.. fantastic twisted-up little gem of an album..

AsleepInTheBack
July 3rd 2017


5872 Comments


Superb review and sounds like something for me to spin

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
July 3rd 2017


8874 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

you need this in your life, Asleep.. and thanks very much..

porcupinetheater
July 3rd 2017


2664 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

This, Roselit Bone, and Mount Eerie sitting pretty at the top of the 2017 heap

Dewinged
July 14th 2017


12170 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Your review has been tweeted by the band themselves butch, good write-up and top album.

Digging: Azusa - Heavy Yoke

SandwichBubble
July 14th 2017


7947 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

OH SHIT, @butcherboy



https://twitter.com/OXBOWtheBAND/status/886046597062299648



remember me when your famous!

Digging: Yeah Yeah Noh - Beware the Weakling Lines

Dewinged
July 14th 2017


12170 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I said it first! Notice me senpai!



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