Oh My God – The Action Album

Oh My God
The Action Album

Few things in this world can lick the sound of a monumentally rocking organ. The Doors knew it, Oneida and the Apes know it, even Boston had the propriety and good taste to crank out some thick, blustery organ riffs every now and again. Just the other night I saw Clinic play, and the rich organ tones they shot out at us thrilled me more than any other part of their show. Yes, when utilized properly, the organ commences with the rocking more than any other music-making instrument or thing.
Chicago’s Oh My God understands the power of the organ. Like Quasi, organ and drums are pretty much all Oh my God got, and they get a fair bit of mileage out of their minimalist set-up. Their organist, Iguana, eases out a warm stream of organ-based jollity. It sounds like what I hear in my head whenever I think about how good, thick beers are brewed. It’s a hell of a sound. Unfortunately, not only is it the best thing about Oh My God’s sound, it’s also pretty much the only good thing this band has to offer.
Oh My God want to be stars. It’s blatantly obvious that they harbor some serious careerism. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, of course; everyone should try to do their best and aim for whatever goals they believe signify success. Oh My God, however, apparently view success as sounding a whole lot like Dead Eye Dick, but without the guitars. The Action Album is chockablock full of mediocre songs that, if produced just a bit more, could easily fill out the non-single slots on some third-rate modern rock band’s future cut-out-bin classic. The songs themselves are pretty functional; more often than not they’re inoffensive, musically.
What dooms this enterprise are Billy O’Neill’s lyrics and vocals. He sounds like that jackass from Cowboy Mouth. And it’s really a shame, ‘cuz on songs like “Action!” the vocals completely erode the quality of the catchy, Cheap Trick-ish music. The vocals aren’t even the worst thing about that song, though; the lyrics are downright embarrassing. The line “You can jack it in my jacket in the back row” is just one of the many almost laughable lyrics included on The Action Album. Several songs begin promisingly only to be undermined by the singer’s shameful shenanigans. Crikey.
Oh My God need to perhaps rethink a few things. They’ve got some promise, a pinch of potential, and everything, but geez, do they ever squander that in a hurry. At this point it’s best to kick back and wait a while to see if this group can calm down and develop into something less annoying.