Everyone remembers those old Emo Diaries compilations Deep Elm used to put out in the late 90's/00's, right? Right. And you should if you don't; you'll discover a ton of awesome bands that way. It's the way I discovered a really cool band called Oliver when I was in 10th grade. They had a song on "The Hope I Hide Inside" called "Straightest Jacket" and at the time, I thought it was the catchiest song EVER. I was obsessed with it; it essentially became the anthem of my sophomore year of high school. I loved it.
They had a really cool pop-punk-ish second-wave emo vibe, not unlike a lot of the bands on the Emo Diaries comps. In fact, if you like current Deep Elm bands like Ride Your Bike and Les Sages, then these guys will definitely be right up your alley. Anyone into bands like Spitalfield, Down To Earth Approach, Hot Rod Circuit, etc. will really be into these guys.
The band was based out of Portland, OR. I never actually came across ANY of their material other than songs I would rip off their Myspace until my freshman year of college when, fed up with their lack of online distribution (no itunes or anything!), I sent the band a Myspace message asking if I could purchase some of their CD's and have them sent to me. As it turns out, they were so excited that they had "a fan not on the west coast" (they even said "You're probably our only fan on that part of the country!") that they asked for my address and shirt size and said they would send me a package, free of charge. They sent me burned copies of their 2 full-lengths and one of their EPs, along with a freshly-pressed t-shirt and hoodie. I still wear that hoodie to this day; it's awesome. I'd never had a band be THAT nice to me; especially a band THAT good.
They wrote such catchy pop songs. In some ways, they were almost unconventionally catchy. It reminds me of how a few of the songs on Spitalfield's swan song (album) "Better Than Knowing Where They Are" were catchy in a really...off-kilter way. It was almost awkward-sounding, but it would still get stuck in your head. And they had some really interesting lyrics a la Motion City Soundtrack, Schatzi, Ultimate Fakebook, etc. To this day, I'm still amazed that they never really did anything beyond a little west coast touring. No record deal. No cult following. Nothing.
Well, a few days ago, I got back into their album "Coming Back In Waves" big time, and I remembered seeing they had posted a video a long while back of a song that was supposed to be featured on an "upcoming album." But they had broken up just 3 or 4 months after they sent me that lovely package of awesomeness, and I'd kept checking their page from time to time to see if they would release it, and they never did. So I decided to look up some of the guys on Facebook to see if they would send it or anything else to me. It worked when I messaged Christian of Schatzi on Myspace; he sent me their unreleased album, "Snow Is For Saving Hearts". So I thought maybe it could work with these guys.
Lo and behold, I find their drummer Stephan, and he says they recorded it but never properly mixed or mastered it, and that he would send it along. 4 days later, today, he said that my message had inspired him to finish the album, so he spent the last few days mixing and mastering it and he sent it to me. So...here it is:
Just think about it. This is an unreleased album. It wouldn't be far fetched to say you could be one of the...probably less than 150 people, tops, who will ever listen to this album in its entirety. Ever. I think it's worth giving a shot just having that in mind, eh?
Please do. I'm currently downloading it, but when it's done and I get some listens in, I'll be sure to post my thoughts. I think it'd be really cool if some of you could do the same. Couldn't hurt, right?
If you can get their player to load, you can hear the song "Half Inch Hayden" from their last record on their old Myspace: http://myspace.com/oliver.
Please give these guys a shot. If you dig them, let me know and I'll upload all the rest of the material I have from them. Enjoy!