Artist: Opossom

Album: Electric Hawaii

Rating: 7.4

When does nostalgia happen? I know why it happens, but I wonder if there a mathematical formula for when it is right for it to happen. Nostalgia hits the mark just when people have forgotten about an idea, which is the optimal time for it to be turned into success. For Opossom a Dutch band who cite 90’s rock bands as their influences, it came as a surprise to hear the swinging mod pop sounds accompanied by 70’s psych rock vocals. It’s actually a very diverse musical journey through this framework that would make for an enjoyable listen for any cocktail party.

The album starts off with a classic go-go type number in “Girl”. It starts the album off in that era, but as the songs go by it slowly starts to carve its own niche sound. “Blue Meanies” is the first single, but it is the song that most resembles some of the trippy pop beats of Peter, Bjorn, and John, which they’ll inevitably get comparisons to. This is the first indication that the direction the album has taken might be a bit indecisive. Currently the band is without a label, but that will probably soon change once people hear this hip album, but there are a few safe choices that have been put on the album that seem to come from a place of insecurity. There is some really good songwriting on Electric Hawaii, especially the title track when they bend the 60’s keyboard sound and warm it to something more current that really paves the way for future Opossom records. Artists can sometimes get myopic about the presentation of their material which is where a good director or producer can help steer the ship in the right direction, but it can be subjective sometimes. Usually bands will throw their “experimental” song at the end of the album, but here is where I see an area the band can mine more with the final tracks “Outer Space” and “Inhaler Song”. They’re slower driving tracks with fuzzed out synths that really compliment the soft melodies. They perhaps spice up this already solid album, but it’s clearly the direction they should go for their next.

If the goal here is to find a record label, so that the most amount of people can listen to this music, which it deserves, I believe it has succeeded. Has it fully achieved the potential of what this album could have been? Who knows, but that will hardly matter when you’re having a swinging old time sipping on your Sazerac and smoking a clove cigarette.

-Michael Unger

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