It’s a stormy and cold night up here in Minneapolis so, obviously, the best time to check out some music. Let’s get to work and check out the new EP ‘Faces I’ve Known’ from Oakwood Grove!
“Sinker” kicks off this six-song EP with an undeniable sense of power while keeping a feeling of emotion at the forefront. The sound of this opening track is very much up my alley instantly reminding me of Balance and Composure. I can already tell I’m going to be a huge fan of Oakwood Grove just based on the lyrics and the raw way with which they are presented. The chorus of this opening track hit me like a ton of bricks. The lyrics are a punch to the gut while the heavy-hitting drums act as a punch to your eardrums (in the best way possible). The contrast between that power and then the tenderness felt between the choruses is absolutely stunning.
“Heirloom” skips the soft and sensitive opening that “Sinker” had and just jumps right into a powerful and anthemic sound. Again, the lyrics just hit a little too close to home with me and the way they are presented is a spot-on portrayal of what was going through my head as the words passed through my heart. You can hear aggression, defeat, sadness, power, everything. Each word is so drenched in emotion that this song instantly got heavy in all of the right ways while still staying fairly light sonically. That vibe continues through “Anchor” (and honestly will probably be a huge sticking point throughout this EP) but the vocal styling lightens up a little bit. This was an instant favorite track of mine because it reminded me of Brand New. I feel like I keep on saying the same thing about Oakwood Grove’s sound but I seriously can not stress how drenched in raw emotion this track is.
The second “Stranger” took over my speakers, I wanted so desperately to be at a live show from Oakwood Grove. The groovy drum beat that kicks this song easily transported me into a sweaty mess of a crowd full of people just dying to feel any sense of emotion that they would typically bottle up and hide otherwise. The drum sound is just so full for this track. Although I don’t think this style will ever hit the arena-sized venues (although I pray for that day to come), Oakwood Grove will be ready to fill that huge space with their drums alone. The beat of the chorus in “Stranger” is slow and steady but, again, so full of power. This is a great track to really just sit back and enjoy so excuse me while I do that for the rest of this track.
The drums really stand out throughout this album but I feel like the vocals steal the spotlight for “Unsaid”. You really get to hear and feel the weight of each word in this track more than the previous ones which are so painfully beautiful. There’s really no extreme range to speak of when it comes to the vocals but, when it comes to this style of music, the range isn’t the point. The point is emotion and Oakwood Grove absolutely has that aspect on lock.
“Faces” ends this great EP in the same way that it started. This track, like “Sinker”, hits your right in the gut with power and emotion. I wish I had more to say about this closing track but it has honestly all been said during the previous tracks. Emotion, power, rawness– just listen and you’ll get it. Even though the same things can be said for every track on this EP, every song brings something to the table and it has me so excited to see what the future brings for this amazing band.
My Favorite Track(s): “Anchor”
For Fans Of: The new generation of emo music; Raw Emotion
Mosh-ability: 7 out of 10
What My Cats Thought Of It: Both cats laid right under my feet because they are scared of thunderstorms
How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 9.6 out of 10
My Overall Rating: 9.8 out of 10
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