Oil Boom

The easiest comparison: The Black Keys. Almost obnoxiously so. Really: The undiscerning listener wouldn't be blamed for mistaking each and every song on this album as a deep cut or B-side from Brothers, that duo's hugely successful 2010 release.

Surely, there are worse fates. Endless commercial appeal and festival circuit adoration are fine aims for any outfit.

No doubt that's just where this trio of gritty vocalist Brian Whitten, flashy axe man Ryan Taylor and unrelenting drummer Dugan Connors wanted to take this six-song debut produced by Stuart Sikes, who produced for the White Stripes in a past life. If not? Well, then something went terribly, terribly wrong.

Thing is, aside from the obvious aping, Black Waxy is also a pretty phenomenal listen—and one that's not afraid of poking a little fun at itself in the process. Second cut "There May or May Not Be Blood" in particular shines with its bouncing, repetitive, Jack White-owing riffs, as Whitten halfheartedly threatens violence upon his disapproving listeners—if and when he gets around to it.

So maybe there's more to this band after all. Or not. Worst-case scenario, Oil Boom's got itself a hell of a future in the tribute band biz.

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Pete Freedman
Contact: Pete Freedman

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