MusicRecord Reviews

Oak House: Plastique Cash Review

Debut records are difficult to evaluate; the lack of context makes it nearly impossible to be fair. That being said, the inaugural release from local band Oak House documents a band brimming with potential.

It would be a mistake to overlook the similarity of Gresham Cash’s vocals to Thom Yorke’s trademark faux falsetto. Additionally, certain lyrics (“I know your face/ I forget your name/ It’s not important to me now”) are akin to Kid A-era Radiohead. But while copping Yorke’s style is a dangerous move, it’s surprisingly effective here. Paired with the intertwining violin work by Slade Adams and the sometimes erratic drumming of Wes Gregory, tracks like “Make it Rhyme” are strikingly novel.

Other surprising aspects of Plastique Cash worth noting: the substantial amount of experimental noise in the middle part of the record, the tempered chaos on “Loved Her,” the garage-inflected “Hated Her,” which also features a cavalcade of instrumental freak-outs toward its end, as well as some Fugazi-esque bass tones from Wes Kent.

When things go airy, they don’t stay that way for too long. Even the sparser acoustic numbers (“Synesthesia”) are so nicely arranged that they hold interest, although I strongly prefer the raucous sounds of songs like “Kent’s Kentish.” Plastique Cash is a dynamic statement.