With experience in some eight other beloved local bands—ranging from the Polyphonic Spree to Boys Named Sue—Taylor Young and John Pedigo of The O's have their own large shoes to fill. Luckily, their self-titled EP, in its humble packaging of pastel copy paper and shrink-wrap, doesn't disappoint. Like Young and Pedigo themselves, The O's' sound is accessible, amiable and spirited in its front-porch twang and family-band harmonies. "California" instantly demands repeats in the player (and head) with its infectious chorus and windows-down attitude, while closer "I Love You So Much" is instantly endearing in its urgent and seemingly whiskey-fueled declarations.
The duo trades off lead vocals with Pedigo's tenor taking honors on three of the five tracks and Young's effortless baritone smoothing over the others. (Each sings the songs he wrote, but Pedigo says that the two are "implementing a more democratic approach and will soon start sharing songs and the like.")
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The O's temper poppier melodies and simple lyrics with intricate bluegrass instrumentation—here, as well as live, the two wield guitar, xylophone, banjo, bass drum and lowebro (a handmade hybrid of dobro, lap steel, horseshoe, spoon and more). Expect a full-length effort in a few months—and, yes, that's a good thing. With the band playing out so much (and winning over audiences in the process), this small offering just isn't going to hold O's fans for long.