The Oohs

"All four Oohs can handle lead vocals, but when they sing in unison (as they do most often), words like "Jellyfish" and "Queen" and "ELO" immediately jump to mind. But I hear roots much deeper than that in their songwriting. Remember when you looked back on singles from the 1960s and discovered how adroitly they balanced lust and innocence. Check out how the vocals explode along with the subject matter in "Baby's Going Out Tonight." Listen to the musical roots all the way back to the Bee Gees' "Spicks And Specks," but the majestic arrangement and signature shifts prove that The Oohs are not going to settle for the easy (retro) way out. Listen to the vocals s-l-i-d-e together in perfect harmony, the bells chiming in the background, the way the drums seem to carry the song, but then it's the, wait, it's the guitar the song fades, you want more and you want it now. And, seconds later, you get what you need as it sweeps back in. "Summer Sun" even borrows the essence of The Four Seasons' street-corner savvy to accentuate the pitch-perfect vocals (the acoustic version proves that this is not done with mirrors, by the way). "Head Above Water," dodging the logical chord progressions for something more inventive, firmly exposes the Rundgren influence the band enjoys, right down to that synth solo (where have you gone, Roger Powell?). Calling this collection Sing Along With The Oohs would not be far from the mark, as you will find yourself doing just that. One more thing about all this name-dropping - the fact that the same band names will jump into your mind is testament to the small number of bands who have been able to pull these arrangements off live. Savor the experience.
- Bill Holmes, AMPLIFIER

Visit The Oohs' web site!

Three-L (prologue)
One Step Closer To Nowhere
Sunny Day
Strange World
More Than Meets The Eye
I Will Love
Settle For Human
The End Of Our Days
Get It Straight
Turn Me Off
To Be In Love
That's What She Said!
What Have You Done With My Girl?
Emotion Left Unspoken
Pipes Of Peace
Three-L II (epilogue)
Notes: Just arrived! Their long-awaited third full-length! And boy it was well worth the wait! Chock full of Beatle-isms - sitars and a "Sgt Pepper"-like guitar intro to go along with hooks, hooks, hooks and lots of patented Oohs vocal harmonies! While it does have it's moments of 60' psych pop, for the most part the disc has a real 70's AM Pop Radio feel to it! Complete with some touches of Todd Rundgren here and there! "More Than Meets The Eye" sounds like a Steely Dan outtake! The boys worked long and hard on this one and it's paid off handsomely! This is by far their best effort yet! Very well done lads!

$10 (CD)

Saturday Morning Dream

"The Oohs" may be the perfect name for a power pop band.

And its members may have the perfect attitude for musicians.

The Springfield-based band celebrates the release of its second full-length album, "Saturday Morning Dream," with a pair of release parties in Springfield. One is tonight at the Trading Post Saloon, and another is scheduled for Dec. 13 at Break Time.

That "Saturday Morning Dream" is one of the best albums you'll hear anywhere this year isn't a surprise. The Oohs have been building a reputation in power pop (think Raspberries, Beatles, Badfinger), and they've shown the growth you'd expect with two years between releases.

From the start of the disc -- which includes an announcement starting a TV station's broadcast day and Arnold Horshack from "Welcome Back Kotter" introducing the band (remember his catch phrase, and think about it for a second) -- to the conclusion, it's evident these guys are having fun.

But having fun with music isn't the same as delivering quality music. And The Oohs deliver.

The album starts with a pair of songs that would fit easily onto an early Queen album. The second, the title cut, mixes a batch of influences. Included are Hudson Brothers-style vocals, what's credited as " 'Pet Sounds percussion' " (after the Beach Boys album -- if you've heard it, when you hear the percussion work at the end, it'll be impossible to not grin), and what might as well be a guitar solo by Queen's Brian May.

One trait held by the best bands from the 1960s and 1970s was that they featured more than one vocalist. It's a delight we don't often miss now, even  in an age of groups featuring one lead singer.

Well, we don't miss it until we hear otherwise. The Oohs feature four lead singers. The fewest leads taken by any member on the 13-cut album is three.

The band also refuses to fall back on the easy out of 14 similar songs. There are mixes of tempo, from ballads like "Paper" to the upbeat, power pop-perfect "That's No Lie" to album-closer "Quality Time," which is like Steely Dan with poppier vocals.

Equally engaging is the frank and comic conversation from keyboard player Brian Curtis and guitar player Frank Huston, the members of the band who lived through those 1970s influences. Curtis bluntly admits the band plays the music for the love of it -- "We realize we're not going to be pop stars now," he says, matter-of-factly -- but there's still a fierce pride in what they're doing.

When talk turns to how Curtis' keyboard work is less a gathering of showpieces and more an organic outgrowth of the song, Huston refers to the keyboard as "a  power drill," and he means it as a compliment.

The best thing about the band is its sense of humor. You can find that in some of the shadings of its songs. If you've heard The Beatles, Queen or Electric Light Orchestra, you're familiar with the music to which they're paying tribute -- and perhaps taking to another level.

"It's an homage to Queen and the people who have ripped them off," Curtis says of one song.

"I was doing some Harrison-Clapton-type slide," Huston says of another song, "and our bass player went out and bought a glass slide for me. Which I promptly broke. I recorded the solo, and broke the slide. I'll probably never be able to play it again."

If the music gig doesn't work out, maybe they can become a comedy team.

- Tim Cain, H&R Entertainment Editor

$10 (CD)
Ear Candy

"Ear Candy by The Oohs just hit this week, and I gotta tell ya--it"s a BIG WINNER! If you heard The Oohs' ELO-meets-QUEEN track on the compilation disc Burnt Marshmallows & Teeny Bikinis, you are already acquainted with their array cascading harmonies, crunchy backing, and sublime melodicism. Ear Candy, their new debut disc, offers more of the same In Spades! 13 tracks of hooky power pop with a breadth of songwriting skill that recalls Jellyfish, with unexpected musical changes that allow you to savor the breathtaking 4-part harmonies. This is CLEVER music that's still catchy as hell!"

- Rich Horton, Optional Art

$10 (CD)