Saturday, 5 November 2011
Review: Ryan O'Leary
Ryan O’Leary - The College Graduate (Independent)
Born, raised and educated in Texas, but recently relocated to California, Ryan O’Leary graduated in 2008 and has spent three years recording his debut album – I guess there’s a clue in the title. Perhaps the change of scenery provided a catalyst, but whatever the reason, circumstance or inspiration that prompted repeated visits to the studio, it was certainly worthwhile. His take on indie rock is always worth tuning into, and melody sits at the core of his approach.
In fact it’s the tunes that hit first, that and the sheer variety of sound O’Leary offers up. No two tracks are the same as guitars puncture, punch, drone and chime providing multiple aspects to a collection that is always connected but never predictable. Let’s be honest, it could’ve got messy, but there’s a single vision at play and O’Leary rarely takes his eye off the ball.
Strong songs come thick and fast. “The Sellout Crowd” may have an acoustic heart, but layers and effects quickly build and the bass-line is a doozey. “Under the Influence” features both a beautifully repetitious guitar motif and a catchy vocal hook. Best of all, the electric wall of sound that calls itself “Years Ago” – custom built for the summer festival circuit.