Monday, 17 August 2009

Fair Ohs

Free Download: Fair Ohs - Hospitals

Garage rock is a genre that seems to remain perpetually cool. But even cool genres get boring, unless something comes along that injects vitality into the sound. Fair Ohs are not that something because they don’t even want to be called garage rock. “We're definitely not a garage rock band,” guitarist/singer Eddy protests adamantly. “Though it’s an influence, along with the African, hardcore and noise stuff that we rip off.” The unwelcome garage rock tag is assigned in response to their punchy lo-fi pop sound. “If you play simple music on crappy equipment it just ends up sounding like garage rock right? simple music is always cool.” Eddy explains. It’s probably safe to say Fair Ohs won’t be releasing a prog album anytime soon, “All this super-complicated-look-at-me-I’m-a-musician-stuff is too much for me, I couldn't care less.” Adds bespectacled bassist, Matt Flag.

Despite their position on the value of simple music, Fair Ohs owe as much to the self indulgent, free style jazz of Pharaoh Sanders and the edgy post punk of Minutemen as they do to any simplistic garage rock group. The sound is the logical product of ex-teenage music geeks with one ear for melody and another for noise. Fair Ohs suck the dregs of twentieth century music through the straw of innovation and then rudely spit it all over the fast food restaurant of contemporary pop. For these three guys the discreet charm of musical history holds more allure than the slutty inevitability of its future. “I'll never get over the fact that I will never be able to experience the whole Minneapolis electro/ funk/soul thing when it was happening.” Drummer Joe complains nostalgically. “I'll never be able to dance to it in a club without some prick thinking it's funny and ironic.”

In fact, Fair Ohs are so keen on bygone eras that they still release material on cassette tape. Tapes which come in their own hand made, felt sleeping bags. “None of us understand using computers so I made the inserts and stickers using a photocopier, a typewriter and Letraset letters.” Matt confesses. “This is not a boast; it’s a sign of modern inadequacy.” Retro to the max.

Over the summer they’ve featured on three splits with other cool east London bands but their frenetic live show is what really makes them worth checking out. What can you expect from a Fair Ohs live show? Joe sums it up nicely. “Super, awesome, good times from three hotties who've listened to lots of Paul Simon and Black Flag.”

published: Dazed and Confused Vol II #77 September 2009

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1 comment:

  1. Summer Lake/Almost Island by Fair Ohs is now available to preorder from Sex is Disgusting -