Oma Yang – Bang Bang

Oma Yang
Bang Bang

Oma Yang plays that style of intricate math rock that everyone seems to be doing in their own way these days. Unfortunately for the band, they seem to be doing a very mediocre job at it. The band decided to incorporate noisier elements (think Mogwai Young Team style) into their second album, Bang Bang, but it ends up sounding quite contrived and unnatural. The instrumentation drags on repeatedly with the same parts over and over, and normally I wouldn’t have a problem with this except these parts are for the most part uncreative and unmelodic. Despite the really cool title for the second track, “No Backdoor to Heaven, Just a Front Door to Hell,” this song perfectly defines the aforementioned criticism.
Things get a bit better for “By June or Join Us,” which at least has the group sounding like a depressed Six Parts Seven and guitars that remain melodic before resorting to the usual Slint style of darker melodies. The track is simplistic and goes with the current paradigm of being very minimalistic. Two guitars find their way to each other through various meanderings while a background drone is heard. Overall, at this point the band seems to have found a sound that fits them.
“Dutch or Something? Or Nothing!” is a track like before that never finds any melody and continues on with the somewhat standard, off-kilter guitar parts playing mathematically. On the other hand “Oh Yeah…I Get Jokes” takes on a very slint/mogwai feel that really shows the band is capable of producing material that is interesting, melodic, and unique. “A Paper Bag Holds Great Secrets” and “Thick Eyelids, Lazy Eyes” are also tracks that I find particularly interesting because of depressing guitar parts and trumpets that take notes from the Mogwai Rock Action full-length.
If Bang Bang were a scientific experiment, the results would be inconclusive. The band definitely has great potential but compromises its more interesting material in order to rock out in a very sloppy fashion. Instead, the band should focus on their new direction of slower and intricate material and see what happens on their next full-length.