CD Review: O’Phil – “Love Songs For Soccer Moms”

O’Phil is, quite simply stated, one of the veteran bands of the MidWest music scene. They’ve been playing music for ten years now, putting out three albums (two full-lengths and a live record), and incessantly playing shows throughout the region.

Love Songs For Soccer Moms, their fourth release, has been 8 years in the making. There’s a goodly amount of fans in the MidWest who’ve been waiting expectantly for this during the two years it to record.

And, thank fucking God, it sounds like two years’ worth of work went into it. The album starts off a little bit mellow with “Brink”, a song that sounds like typical ska as it starts but builds to some serious rock muscle. This makes for the perfect lead-in to “Sad Song”, which, despite its title, is probably one of the two heaviest hitting tracks on the whole record.

Really, I could go track-by-track on this thing and discuss the merits of each song, but the fact of the matter is that Love Songs For Soccer Moms succeeds perfectly at what O’Phil wanted to do. They state in the liner notes that they wanted to make a record that contains music they enjoy making.

And there’s nothing that sounds better than a band that enjoys what they’re doing. The horns are tight, but jazzy enough to break away from the typical ska band “high school marching band” approach. The guitar work of Shane Marler has plenty of fuzz and crunch, and the Gretsch sound gives the band another little bit that sets them aside from the run-of-the-mill. Rhythmically, Rob Miller and Jason Stockebrand take drum and bass work to a level that just evokes the band’s inherent, slightly evil sound.

There’s just something in O’Phil’s music that makes them sound evil. It could have something to do with the big dude Alex Thomas on stage waggling his tongue and flashing devil signs while he sings. That might be it. Whatever it is, it works. And well.


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