Oh Boland! – Cheap Things
Oh Boland’s latest, Cheap Things, has long existed as little more than a rumour. The Tuam trio have, over nearly a decade at this stage, established themselves as one of the finest if-you-know-you-know live acts in the country.
A power trio of rare potency; mastermind, songwriter and unfuckwithable shredder, Niall Murphy, is plainly besotted with the psychedelic, shambling garage rock of New Zealand’s unimpeachable indie stable Flying Nun Records. That is to say, the man knows well that the most bracing brand of power-pop is invariably produced by a band that, amongst other things, sounds like they are falling down the stairs. On this long gestating, once thought entirely scrapped, collection – Murphy and co. sound like they are tumbling down the steps of a vertigo inducing belltower, picking up speed as they clatter down each consecutive, spiralling, seemingly endless flight – such is the freewheeling, unfettered intensity on display over the course of these ten irresistibly fun slabs of maximum rock n’ roll.
Almost paradoxically jammier and poppier than their rightly cherished first transmission, it’s a struggle to pull out particularities for praise for fear of appearing to degenerate any given number’s neighbours on the tracklist. Ultimately, it might just be the consistency on display here that is the most dazzling – we’re talking a Singles Going Steady level of bang you over the head brilliance from tune to tune. For those of us that have been waiting – and trust me, there are dozens of us! – we finally have a worthy document of Oh Boland’s majesty as a live proposition and mastery over the domestic punk (“post” or otherwise) landscape.
Words: Danny Wilson