On a surface level, nothing about Oil Boom’s brand of music — bluesy, distorted rock ’n’ roll, loaded and ready for last call — seems particularly noteworthy.
But the trio’s genius lies not in execution (although, it must be said, Oil Boom excels in that department as well), so much as conception, which is evident again and again on the band’s debut LP, Red Metal. Take the whip-smart Delta Rice, which has some fun with homophones (the phrase “dead to rights” slurred just so by vocalist/guitarist Ryan Taylor) and puts a peculiar spin on what would otherwise be a pretty pedestrian, cat-and-mouse relationship tune.
The band, filled out by drummer Dugan Connors and bassist Steve Steward, has long demonstrated a willingness to blur genre lines, and working with producer Jordan Richardson here, pushes its sound further afield from the garage while still retaining familiar elements (a trickier proposition than it seems). The 35-minute LP feels more expansive than its concise running time would suggest, as the entire affair builds to an epic climax: the nearly eight-minute Slow Going Down providing stunning closure.
Oil Boom celebrates Red Metal’s release Nov. 21 at Dallas’ Prophet Bar.
Cale Tyson, ‘Cheater’s Wine’ EP
On his latest six-song collection, Cheater’s Wine, Fort Worth-raised and Nashville-based singer-songwriter Cale Tyson further burnishes the reputation he cemented with his superb debut, 2013’s High on Lonesome. While Wine doesn’t quite intoxicate as fully as Lonesome did, Tyson still demonstrates how much life remains in the tried-and-true. Working alongside fellow critical darling Robert Ellis, who pitches in on vocals and guitar, Tyson slightly updates his aesthetic, bringing it out of the ’50s and into country’s shape-shifting ’60s. From the self-excoriating Fool of the Year through to the slow-burn beauty of album-closer Oaxaca, Tyson embraces misery along with the joy of sturdy songcraft.
Dead Flowers, ‘His Blues’
The guitar just keeps coming on Dead Flowers’ sophomore LP, His Blues, a through line connecting these 10 tracks, one spilling into another with scarcely a break between. The Dallas band (vocalist/guitarist Corey Howe, bassist Evan Johnston, guitarist Vince Tuley and drummer Ed Chaney) cut the album with producer Jason Robert Burt directly to tape over a 10-day span at the Dripping Springs studio The Nest, and such hothouse origins fit these humid, vaguely rustic hunks of rock ’n’ roll. Howe’s voice breaks in all the right places — just listen to that slow, soulful fade-out of Here I Am — and leaves you eager to dive in all over again as the finale, Room Eight, fades from the speakers. Dead Flowers play Friday at Lee Harvey’s in Dallas.