Lansingmusic.tv will be interviewing Oh My God before their show at Mac’s Bar on Friday September 24,2010. In preparation for the interview and the great show that will follow, I figure that it would be good if I did a review of their newest record “The Night Undoes the Work of the Day” from Split Red Records. Here we go…

First off, let me get my preconceived notions out in the open. When I first read about them, they were described as “Art Rock”, which these days can mean any number of things. I was expecting something like King Crimson or the like. What I got was something completely different and I’m happy my preconceived notions were thrown out the window.  The first song, My Own Adventure, has a very catchy and danceable back beat. The pianos and the vocals of Billy O’Neill make the song feel very light-hearted and overall an easy listen. There are hints of synths here and there but the overall the song pretty much plays it safe.

My Prayer has a very heartfelt vocal and the chorus, although short, includes handclaps that give the song a fun, party vibe. Guitars, which have only been heard in OMG’s music since 2008′s “Fools Want Noise!”, are low in the mix but add depth to the song and the band’s overall sound. Pianos are consistent theme on this particular record. Bring Yourself includes a dark, almost sad piano melody. A line that adds to the darker theme is “nothing gets any easier”. It actually is almost uplifting in its sadness. Their sound is even more layered than the previous song as strings and fuzzed out synths push the song along and add depth too.

Baby There’s Nothin’ Wrong (You Just Gotta Go To Work) as a lyric, is repeated over and over almost to the point of beating a dead horse. It is repetitive and indulgent. For it’s shortcomings however, the vocal line in question is very catchy and varying synths sprinkle the song. If that line wasn’t repeated so much, it might grow on me, but it’s just there too much. The next song, I Don’t Think It’s So Funny (how time slips away), is a rebound however. It is the most experimental song on the record. All kinds of obscure sounds and guitars push the song from the intro to the verse. Then the verse scales all of that back as a slide, bass and harmony vocals dominate. The bridge does much of the same but instead of a slide guitar, piano takes its place. The vocals themselves are soothing and lighthearted; almost ballad-like. The end of the song goes into full-on rocking mode with guitars blaring as synths drone about.

The rocking continues with One Thing Leads to Another. The fast drum pace and quick guitar licks are almost bluesy. Verse breakdowns bring back more experimental synths then the guitar rocking continues. This is by far the best song on the record if you are looking for a rocker. Baby, Dream is full of R&B vibes. The sultry vocal style and the continuous piano chords add a danceable pace and feel. The song as a whole has an upswing that is undeniable and unmistakable. It will get you dancing, I guarantee it.

My Juliet is a piano ballad with only some bits of bass and synth laid in. The vocal takes centerstage. It is very heartwrenching and the instrumentation helps reflect that. I Dare You to Love Me picks the pace back up. Guitars dominate and the drums are extremely catchy. Pianos and vocal melodies coat the song over its hard exterior. The bridge is very minimal and then it pulls you back in with the chorus. For all the build of the song, it ends abruptly. I felt it could have lasted a little longer.

Strangers On A Train is the last and longest song on the record, clocking in at over six minutes. The beat is the coolest thing about the song. As a piano arpeggio plays throughout, a beat almost akin to Trip-Hop pulsates. It is experimental in its pop sensibilities. As the song continues, it gets more and more minimal to the point where only sparse, intricate synths layer throughout and a cymbal wash are the only things left. A dark, and yet again, uplifting synth ends the record.

“Dark, yet uplifting” seems to be the thing I clinged to most when reviewing this record. The band has reportedly been through some troubling times but as this record shows, they are dealing with their personal issues well. Music (and art in general) can be a window into the life of a person or people at a particular time and this record is just such the case. The music is filled with interesting sounds and rhythms. The vocals and melodies are a catchy, soothing listen. Although sometimes lines are repeated too much, making them less interesting and listenable. This record, overall, is a great mix of piano-driven ballads and up tempo rocking that you should pick up.

Visit http://ohmygodmusic.com for info. on their current tour and their current CD, “The Night Undoes the Work of the Day”. Be sure to check out Lansingmusic.tv’s interview with Oh My God when it gets done.