With one band member stationed in Brisbane and the other holed up in the port of Nelson, New Zealand it seems apt that the experimental duo, Man From Atlanta, encompass themes as epic as the oceanic void which separates them.
Having stumbled across each other through various musical projects in the late nineties indie scene in Wellington, multi-instrumentalists Ilmare Taimre and Allan Innes-Walker have reunited in their current form; a virtual band with a penchant for virtual reality as indicated by the sound their latest EP Oh Yeah.
“Think I’m In Love (Oh Yeah)” opens the EP with rusty brass and brash discordant piano chords, maintaining a thumping tempo underscored by an almost monotonous chanting of the title track.
Such minimalist lyricism is a philosophical motif of this release. Where the hypnotic repetition of an underlining phrase effectively nullifies the function of words, subsequently heightening the aural awareness of the listener to what remains.
This approach is most effective when matched by moments of musical brilliance as boasted of in “Can’t Get Rid Of This Thing”.
The combination of soft keys, twangy guitar bends and a rootsy ethos providing a satisfactory albeit neurotic fix—the subtle reference to Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick In The Wall” embedded in the looping riff, reinforcing a sense of pending paranoia.
However “Don’t Look Now” with it’s ambitious orchestration and mesh of textures is the track that elevates Oh Yeah to a whole other stratosphere.
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Deviating with poetic lyricism, the duo forthrightly address fatalist themes of death and claustrophobia, conjuring a sense of harrowing turmoil through lowly strings and eerie submarine whistles.
With the streamlined and formulaic “Everything’s Gone Wrong” proving to be the sole disappointment of this EP, Oh Yeah will surely serve as Man From Atlanta’s ship home.