Mixed Signals, the new EP by Oversat, is an exercise in noisy repetition. Its six tracks sound a lot alike, and none of it is very interesting. In fact, even at only twenty minutes in length, it outstays its welcome rather quickly.
The trio formed in 1999 and consists of King Doug (drums), Jeremiah LongBear (bass & vocals), and Jared Cooper (guitar & vocals). They claim that “Oversat is not genre defying, they are genre defining.” I hate to burst their bubble, but they are only the newest in a long line of bands that create similar stuff. Call it what you will—screamo, hardcore, whatever—it all equates to the same thing: a bunch of amateurish musicians and terrible vocalists thrashing about and creating destructive wastes of time.
“Stone Harbor” opens the EP, and its initial minute is all you need to hear of this EP; the other 19 minutes are essentially more of the same. The drums flail about in 2/4 time, the distorted guitar plays deadened notes and dissonant chords, and the vocalists cry out like whiny punks. It honestly feels like three inexperienced people picked up instruments and a microphone and decided to record and release their obnoxious hijinks. To be fair, the middle bit of “Mourning Cloak” shows a bit of post-rock ambition, but it’s a fleeting moment.
The prepubescent, nerdy vocals on “In The Other Room” can’t be serious, nor can the collage of random sounds known as “Above the Shower” (even though it ends with a relatively intriguing, if basic, guitar arpeggio). Really, it’s hard to believe that Oversat possesses the bravery and ego to assume that anyone wants to hear this ridiculousness.
Mixed Signals shows barely any attempt at melody, harmony, dynamics, or any other element of musicality; instead, Oversat scream and mess around without any direction or purpose. If you’re in the mood for top-notch post-rock, check out 65daysofstatic, and if you’re looking for some colorful, intricate punk, listen to Aficionado. They, and many other artists, are far more skilled and interesting than Oversat.