In the beginning, there was a void. Then there was light. And sound.
German rockers Oxomoco pay homage to this moment, channeling that transcendent instant of creation into the band’s music.
In their self-titled debut, Oxomoco plays a special brand of Post-Rock, combining hypnotic, cosmic instrumentation with occasional Stoner Rock riffage and deep Psychedelic Rock grooves.
- Ulrich Retzow – Drums
- Laurenz Mösbauer – Guitars
- Emanuel Pfitzner – Bass, Clarinet
The band’s debut album features a number of guest artists, including:
- Hannah Zieziula, Isi Niedermeier, Björn Vollmer (vocals on “Of Home”)
- Max Freigeist (vocals on “The Moment Before It Was Gone”)
- Murphy Montana (harp on “Montana And The Dirty Blues”)
- Norman van Haven (vocals and lyrics on “Elpis”)
Oxomoco was mixed by Kurt Balou at God City Studio and mastered by Alexander Khromov at Sonic Boom Studios.
Track One: Of Home
With its quick, dramatic guitarwork and desperate bass line, “Of Home” opens on a sad wave of emotion, which gradually shifts from heartbreak and longing to something much more hopeful. As the song picks up momentum, those feelings of sorrow are left behind for optimism and even a bit of aggression with a few heavy riffs.
“Of Home” is also where the band’s Post-Rock comparisons are most overt. As the song nears its conclusion, the quick, pulsing drums and guitar reach a frenetic pace, but the layered vocals remain angelic (thanks to guest appearances from Hannah Zieziula, Isi Niedermeier, and Björn Vollmer), creating an ethereal moment.
Track Two: The Moment Before It Was Gone
As with “Of Home,” “The Moment Before It Was Gone” opens on a slower note, using a gradual build to hit multiple emotions. Emanuel Pfizer’s clarinet solo sounds quite like a saxophone, drawing to mind Pink Floyd. Eventually, though, the clarinet solo is replaced by a lengthy vocal solo from Max Freigeist—a powerful moment within “The Moment Before It Was Gone.”
Track Three: Nice And Heavy Particles
As the name suggests, “Nice And Heavy Particles” rocks pretty hard—but it doesn’t start off that way. After a few teaser notes, the song breaks out into a barrage reminiscent of an ‘80s synth intro. Eventually, “Nice And Heavy Particles” drops into some nice and heavy riffs, similar to the Heavy Psych style of King Buffalo, but delivered at a faster pace. “Nice And Heavy Particles” shows the trio are capable Metal artists, and it leaves one wondering what a full album of heavy riffs would sound like in Oxomoco’s hands.
Track Four: Montana And the Dirty Blues
“Montana and the Dirty Blues” is simply a slow groove with a thick bassline perfect for chilling out—and the inclusion of a bluesy harmonica and guitar solo keeps the entire experience from ever growing stale. While there are a few moments of growing tension as if the song is about to break into Metal, these are temporary.
Track Five: Elpis
Featuring Norman van Haven on vocals, “Elpis” sounds like it’s fronted by Maynard James Keenan of Tool, as Norman van Haven even achieves that same breathy whisper and growled annunciation in his delivery. Thanks in part to van Haven’s delivery and the song’s dramatic composition, “Elpis” is the most emotional track on Oxomoco, and that’s only further accented by the desperate, squealing guitar in the second half of the song.
Final Score: 8/10
Stand Out Tracks: “Nice and Heavy Particles” and “Elpis”
Pros: Oxomoco is an easy album to slip into. Consistently inviting and beautifully written, these five tracks are engaging through each and every movement, despite the intimidating length of a few songs.
As a band, the Oxomoco trio has some serious Metal chops, though they’ve decided to root the majority of this album within the Psych Rock / Post-Rock territory—however you’d like to define it.
All in all, the band does an excellent job capturing that initial moment of creation we discussed at the top of this review—forming ethereal songs out of nothingness and giving life to the void.
Cons: There are times when Oxomoco crosses into self-indulgence, extending a few sections longer than they probably need to be. However, these moments are few, and the band usually concludes them with something new or exciting (like the Metal section on “Nice And Heavy Particles”).
Ultimately, Oxomoco seems like a young band still discovering its sound, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. While Oxomoco is an overall strong album, there are a variety of soundscapes here worth exploring in greater detail—and the only way to do that is through additional songwriting and exploration.
Learn More About Oxomoco
If you’d like to learn more about Oxomoco, visit their website, check them out on Bandcamp, follow them on social media (Facebook or Instagram), subscribe to their YouTube channel, or listen to them on Spotify.