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Depth & Current - Dysrhythmia

"Overproduced" is a term thrown around all too indiscreetly nowadays, usually applied when the thing that sticks out about a song or album is how it sounds rather than how it is constructed. Yet some of the most compelling albums ever crafted embodied a certain aesthetic that was just as skillfully and meticulously put together as any Bob Dylan or Miles Davis record — which is to say production is as crucial to our enjoyment of music as much as anything else; it's also the most overlooked.
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Three’s company


From the ashes of The Rounders rises Oil Boom, a trio bursting with blues-based rock.

Joshua Boydston March 2nd, 2011

Oil Boom with The Orbans
9 p.m. Friday
VZD’s Restaurant and Club, 4200 N. Western
VZDs.com, 524-4203

Lonely singles in a new city often turn to dating websites to find companionship. Bet you didn’t know that musicians looking to make sweet, sweet tunes together do the same.

A Dallas-based “musician matchmaking site” is how two ex-Okies found their St. Louis soul mate; for Oil Boom, it was love at first sight.

“We had sex that night, so that was good,” guitarist Ryan Taylor said jokingly, before he and drummer Dugan Connors burst into laughter. “It felt pretty instant. It was a while since I’d played with someone, and I was a little scared, but it just felt right after that. We’ve been off and running ever since.”

If Taylor’s name sounds familiar, it should. Along with singer Brian Whitten, he performed with Oklahoma roots-rock favorite The Rounders from 2000 to its 2008 dissolution. Playing in a streamlined trio has proven to be entirely different.

“There’s a whole lot less going on,” Taylor said. “We only have guitar, drums and vocals, whereas in The Rounders, we had two guitars, bass, drums, singer. It’s more of a challenge. I have to be a little creative to fill up the space. It can be frustrating, but when you stumble onto something cool through that process, it makes it worthwhile.”

Three is plenty for a band focused on straightforward, fundamental, unfussy blues-rock.

“People find our setup pretty interesting, because most of the time, it would be a two-piece, not three,” Connors said. “Seeing what they are doing is cool in that people are intrigued by that, instead of a bigger band-type style.”

There is a certain blues-rock twopiece that Oil Boom has a soft spot for, whose recent Grammy heyday has them thinking it’s a good path to try and follow.

We had sex that night, so that was good.

—Ryan Taylor

“It seems weird. I can remember getting The Black Keys’ first album, and no one had any idea who they were or how successful they would be,” Taylor said. “It’s exciting that they’ve been able to achieve that. It’s something we’d like to emulate in some sense, how they’ve grown and matured.”

Oil Boom has taken its first step by enlisting Grammy-winning engineer/producer Stuart Sikes (The White Stripes, Loretta Lynn, The Walkmen) to master its debut album, “Black Waxy.” The trio has taken little time in getting a record under its belt, having formed just a year ago. With the album due in the near future, the band aims to continue expanding its reach beyond Texas, making weekend treks throughout the region, including Friday’s performance at VZD’s.

Their mission: to spread a simple sound through a simpler setup.

“It’s just a bare-bones rock ’n’ roll band,” Taylor said. “There’s not a whole lot to it, but hopefully, it comes across. We’ll be enjoying playing it, regardless.”

 
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