Oklahoma City rockers The Kamals recall many bands on first listen; some moments sound like Queens of the Stone Age, while others like vintage Black Keys or, even more old-school, Robert Johnson. If there’s one descriptor that ties it altogether, it’s sweat, and the five-man crew shed a lot of it recording its debut EP, set for proper release Friday.
“We recorded it all by ourselves. We worked our asses off since October, trying to get everything right,” singer and guitarist Zak Kaczka said. “We stopped when everything sounded as good as we could make it.”
The group formed just half a year ago, when Kaczka, bassist Trey Allen, keyboardist Loren Williams, guitarist Brad Nance and drummer River Myers found themselves jamming in between recording sessions at Old Dog Records, which Kaczka co-founded with Rob and Mike Derrick of The Black Jack Gypsys.
Although relatively fresh from the womb, The Kamals think they’ve already found their niche in the Sooner soundscape.
“We haven’t found a band like us in Oklahoma. We’re combining our influences in a way most people don’t,” Kaczka said. “This band can thrive in any environment.”
The soul- and psych-inspired rock sound The Kamals capture on their four-track EP gives a glimpse into that sentiment.
“I hope this will give people a true understanding of what we are about. We’re unique to the Oklahoma music scene, and we’ll always do our own thing, regardless of what’s going on around us,” Kaczka said. “It’s always going to be about staying true to ourselves.”
Luckily, The Kamals have found true counterparts in The Black Jack Gypsys and fellow metro rock act The Trading Co. All three share the bluesand vintage rock-inspired sensibilities, with an uncannily similar number of followers and formation dates. (All are part of Friday’s bill at Opolis.)
It feels like fate, and all three have enjoyed the opportunity to emerge together and build the Old Dog Records studio and label, which will follow up The Kamals’ EP with records from The Black Jack Gypsys and The Trading Co. in the coming months.
“The three of us do almost everything together,” Kaczka said. “It’s a good mix, and we have one massive crowd that becomes this almost family affair.”