The Oats - Smokin' Smokings EP
Record Label: Self-released
Release Date: Dec. 25, 2012
The Oats are a quartet of 22-year-olds from Mexico City that was founded in 2010. Andres Mora and Armando Vega play guitar and sing, Alfonso Rodriguez plays bass and Oscar Brena wails on drums. The band formed after all members agreed they were gigantic fans of both The Beatles and The Pixies. Smokin' Smokings was mastered by Howie Weinberg (Nirvana, The White Stripes, et al). The group is scheduled to release their next EP in summer of 2013.
How is it?
Tremendous. Considering the disc came just three months after Rodriguez learned the bass, the end results are nothing short of stunning. "On the Road," a paean to Kerouac is effortless, swerving and sun-drenched, while "Over the Years," is reflective and a dead-ringer for The Beach Boys. Quite simply, if the song doesn't charm you, than The Oats are not the band for you.
Arguably the album's best effort is "Pretend," which has the zest and zeal of "On the Road," but is definitively more light and crisp, dare I say, effervescent. Calling it a whale of a song is putting it mildly. While "T.V.," has its charms it doesn't stack up against the angst-riddled "Wicked Game," an anxious and urgent affair that plays like the soundtrack to a drug bust.
In the end, Smokin' Smokings is five surefire crowdpleasers and the arrival of a fresh new talent in the North American rock landscape. Do yourself a favor and end the year on a high note. Give this disc a spin at a New Year's party and get the masses interested in this precocious Mexican outfit. This is beer-swillin', hip-shakin' first-rate rock n' roll.