Artist:The Ohio Weather Band
Genre: Folk Rock, Blues, Americana Rock
Label: Ohio Weather Records
Album Cover Photo: Becky Flinn
Release Date: April 4, 2014
As many of you know, I’ve been a big fan of The Ohio Weather Band since I first saw them in concert with Kevin Devine last October. Back then, this Alliance rock band only had a 3-track demo and a few other songs on their Bandcamp page. I anxiously waited for them to release their full-length debut album and now it’s here.
For the past month since its release, it’s been in heavy rotation for me. The 12-track album starts off with a kick, tells a story, and lets us off gently. The way they ordered the songs makes the album flow well with the hardest punching one towards the middle and alternating fast and slow throughout its entirety.
This album is an aurally pleasing narrative of a young man experiencing the highs and lows of life. He’s loved and lost, made mistakes, learned lessons, and became a better man for it.
Corey King, lead vocalist and guitarist, is the main songwriter of the group. His lyrics are poetic, using a lot of metaphors to relay his point and create beautiful, vivid imagery. This can be seen in “Bears & Bees”* when King talks about digging for a “diamond in the rough,” as well as “love comes by flood” in “Whole Damn Town.”
King’s distinct voice is paired incredibly well with this genre of music and it tends to pull everything together. This is the type of album that you just don’t get tired of listening. The songs are relatable in one way or another and the talent of each musician is quite apparent.
My favorite song would have to be “Whole Damn Town.” It’s the one that I listen to the most by far. The ending with the harmonica is just too slick. It makes me wish I could play one.
In a close second is “Backpack with Whiskey,” which happens to be the one King said was the easiest to write. It’s the fastest song on the album and tells a story of a guy with a backpack full of whiskey that he plans to share, but it ends up all over the ground.
The saddest one has to be “Fortune Teller.” From my understand, this is a true story as are many of their songs. It tells of a woman who is in such a bout of depression that she wishes to end her life and asks the narrator for a gun. There is such emotion conveyed in this track, it makes me sad every time I listen to it.
A few of my favorite lines are listed below:
“I want to razor blade the tape/Edit out all mistakes/Love you all in one take” (Whole Damn Town)
“I got a head full of thunder, clouds, and rain/I got a beat up old guitar that keeps me sane” (The Wear on These Bones)
“That I am honey in a world of bears and bees” (Bears & Bees)
Due to them recording this themselves, you can sometimes hear King taking a breath and it does have a raw/grittier feel to it. But instead of taking away from it, it makes the album more enjoyable. In many ways it reminds me of their live shows. It’s not absolutely perfect and it doesn’t need to be.
I really loved the cover of the booklet. I thought that it was really creative how each member was pictured in a different season. I don’t know them all well enough to know if those seasons were supposed to represent their personalities or something about their lives, but I think it would be really cool if they did.
In the end, the album feels like a bunch of friends getting together and having fun. It is my favorite album from a local band this year and easily in the top three overall albums I’ve heard this year.
Thanks for reading,
*Earlier version mentioned “diamond in the rough” line as part of “The Wear on These Bones.” It is actually apart of “Bears & Bees.”