Surf rock psych-pop, dream disco...I’m going to go ahead and just label them experimental. That’s the ideal word for everything that is thrown together in MT. OSSA’s new album Homework Machine.
Homework Machine, which was released October 22, sounds almost like '70s rock and roll that mixed itself flawlessly with new wave weirdness—a wonderful indie masterpiece that was thrown together by a happy accident. It also sounds like something the Beach Boys would play if they were feeling a little moody. What I’m trying to say here is that MT. OSSA is a special brand of genre-bending music that mixes the old with the new in a way that just makes you want to dance. The five-piece came together in Southern California, and that's exactly what their music embodies.
The album has some quirky, synthy sounds going on, it’s also lyrically bright and soulful. “We make music in a way that makes us happy,” the band writes on their Facebook page. The guys, Richard Theisen, Johnny Wilson, Tony Tancredi, Jordan Sabolick, and Adam Sabolick make you happy too. Tracks like “Whistling Season” incorporate that soulfulness over beachy melodies that demand the listener be in a good mood. It’s impossible not to be.
Homework Machine was recorded by the band in the garage of the house where a few of them were living. They turned the garage into a mixing/tracking room and spent a few months recording with each band member acting as an engineer/producer/mixer at times. Which just goes to show that some bands can still make the DIY thing work. A fancy recording studio is not needed to make great music.
Though it incorporates many different elements from many different genres of music, Homework Machine kind of establishes it’s distinct sound right in the beginning of the album and doesn’t stray too much from that sound throughout. “Onions & Jives” is entirely instrumental but it still boasts that soulful, beachy sound that MT. OSSA has made their own. “Solar Skate” gets a little funkier with a killer bassline and spacey vocals. “Roller Toaster” is a frantic example of how over-the-top and fun the band can be.
Closing out the album with “Better Weather” and “Worse Weather,” MT. OSSA takes it back a notch just relaxing with a sound they’ve done an amazing job of making their own. After listening to Homework Machine several times through, I would call MT. OSSA both a band to watch out for and a band to get down to. I still don’t know what exactly to call what they do, but whatever it is, they’re very good at it.
1. Pocket Full of Kids
2. Love Jam
3. Whistling Season
4. Bongo (Time is a Seed)
5. Leaves Grieve
6. Onions & Jives
7. Solar Skate
9. Klaus & Kathy
10. Roller Toaster
11. Better Weather
12. Worse Weather