Written By: Mike O’ Cull
Originality: (4.0 / 5) Vocals/Flow: (5.0 / 5) Lyrics: (5.0 / 5) Production: (5.0 / 5) Average: (4.8 / 5)
Amy O is the name of Bloomington, Indiana songwriter and guitarist Amy Oelsner’s solo project that has grown to become a full band with a life of its own. Elastic is the latest Amy O release and it is packed full of short, rocking, and tuneful songs with an engaging punk/indie/New Wave/twee pop vibe that will make you wish that this was the garage band next door. The lineup now includes Oeslner plus bassist/vocalist Madeline Robinson, drummer Justin Vollmar, lead guitarist Damion Schirialli, and keyboardist Aaron Denton and they make a lovely racket together that will light up anyone who likes energetic and hook-filled rock music.
This is classic guitar pop done fresh for modern times and it echoes with influence and attitude. The opening track is “Lavender Night,” which delivers a “Hazy Shade of Winter”-type feel and is 01:43 of pure rock bliss. “Soft Skin” veers from Nirvana-esque melancholy to a sunny pop chorus with nary a speed bump and “Sunday Meal” is almost psychedelic without losing its gentle nature. A lot of the songs here are less than three minutes, some less than two, so pay attention when they go by or you will miss something cool.
The record sounds pretty live, so it’s a pretty good bet that Amy O musters it up on stage in fine style and could well be on the way to indie greatness. It is certainly a band to keep an awareness of, especially if you like gritty guitars topped with sweet vocals and songs that recall the best days of AM and college radio. Elastic is a refreshing and entertaining blast of rock that’s an excellent antidote to the poisonous plastic of most current music.