Ovlov - Buds Music Album Reviews

Ovlov - Buds Music Album Reviews
For all their slacker-rock credentials, the Connecticut group could rarely be described as loose. Their third album is a short, hooky celebration of friendship and fuzz pedals.

Steve Hartlett isn’t known to get ahead of himself. Since 2009, the Ovlov main man has crafted blown-out indie rock with the present moment squarely in mind, while the group keeled between cult reverence, multiple breakups, and the promise of wider success. On the eve of the Connecticut band’s third album, Buds, the singer-guitarist (who also leads garage quartet Stove) signalled he might finally be reckoning with the future. “I’m right in the middle of trying to figure out what I actually want to do with music,” he said recently. Buds tells its own tale—one that looks close to home to find a way forward.

Hartlett’s preoccupation with the present likely stems from knowing just how quickly things can come apart. While Ovlov’s 2013 debut am hit like a stoned paean to times past and places changed, 2018’s Tru bore the weight of addiction and the death of Hartlett’s best friend two years earlier. In the space of 25 minutes, Buds continues to navigate loss while sounding largely at peace with the world. With brothers Jon and Theo Hartlett on bass and drums and childhood friend Morgan Luzzi on guitar, Hartlett crafts Ovlov’s breeziest record yet. It’s still wooly and doused in fuzz, but the band sounds more lucid than ever before.

Ovlov’s knack for threading even the most amp-blown passage with an earworm sets them apart. “Cheer Up, Chihiro!” a make-believe letter to the Spirited Away protagonist, started life as a demo for the band’s debut. It was judged “too poppy” for earlier albums, but it finds a home here flipping between spidery arpeggios, punishing low-end, and vocal counterpoint by Ringo Deathstarr’s Alex Gehring. Evoking early Crumb, it’s a masterclass in how to offset heft, in part thanks to a ripping sax solo by the Hartlett brothers’ dad, Ted.

Gratitude—for life, for familiar faces, for one’s history—defines Buds. On the album’s breakneck opener, “Baby Shea,” Hartlett recalls the band’s early years at the now-shuttered Brooklyn DIY venue Shea Stadium. There, we’re told, he “felt more through” his friends. “Land of Steve-O” stretches the sentiment even further: Written and demoed before Tru, it’s an instant Ovlov classic about an “extremely important” sixth-grade friend with whom he shared a mutual love of Papa Roach. “We’ll talk about the way we try to spend our days,” Hartlett sings, his refrain cloaked in a plume of scuzz. Here, and on the likes of “Moron Pt. 2,” he finds comfort in good company. The hooky directness is hard to resist.

For all their slacker-rock credentials, Ovlov could rarely be described as loose. On Buds, dynamics are tauter than ever. Muscular but never overpowering, Jon and Theo Hartlett’s interplay on “Eat More” opens space for their brother’s sorcerous solo. Conjuring My Bloody Valentine fed through Dinosaur Jr.’s wah-soaked “Little Fury Things,” it sounds like a tear in the fabric of the universe. “Feel the Pain,” meanwhile, isn’t just an in-joke about a band to which Ovlov are often compared: The first line is Hartlett’s direct reproach of J Mascis. “You could not feel the pain,” Hartlett gently intones, defending a friend, Dino Jr. drummer Murph, against Mascis’ reportedly poor treatment. For Hartlett, conscience and personal relationships trump lingering hero worship.

As “Feel the Pain” crests in a surge of tremolo chords and double bass drums, there’s a sense that Ovlov know they haven’t got it all figured out. But accepting the unknown can provide its own solace. Buds feels like a cause for gratitude in itself: Following a “final” show in July 2019, Ovlov had planned to take an extended hiatus, only for Hartlett to glean new insight about his priorities mid-pandemic. When you’re truly thankful for life, even 25 minutes feels like a gift.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Ovlov - Buds Music Album Reviews Ovlov - Buds Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on December 06, 2021 Rating: 5


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