I’m not sure where to exactly begin with this review. Oh My Snare!‘s Hoyeste Gang EP came as a total surprise. Screw what you’re advised to do in grade school, I always judge an album by its cover, and from appearances, I was expecting a docile folk-punk group. That is not what Hoyeste Gang delivers, which is apparent from the openings chords of “Unforetold Hands and Voices” being strummed on a distorted electric guitar.
Oh My Snare! manages to incorporate growling vocals, catchy singalongs and even synthesizers (!!) into their unique brand of punk rock, resulting in an EP that sounds unlike anything that will most likely be released this year. “Hearken Unto My Behest, Biatch, For Thou Hast Boobies” begins with vocalist Lily proclaiming that “It’s not easy to be a woman these days” in a fun and innocent enough sounding hook.
By the time “Krillin Came Back From The Dead Like Three Times, I Think We Can Do It Once” rolls around, it is apparent that Oh My Snare! has a penchant for song titles that are a bit on the longer side. What is also noticeable though, is the influence early AFI has on their music, especially in vocal techniques. Most of the track is comprised of group vocals proudly complaining “I’m not afraid to die,” which is a stark contrast to the clean, heavily reverbed guitar and breathy vocals of “All Sauron Needed Was A Little Love.” It takes the role of the ballad of the album, while still maintaining the raw quality that the rest of the record has.
Once you hear the AFI influence, it is difficult to not think of “The Days of the Phoenix” when listening to “If You Smell Flowers, Look Around For A Coffin”. But that in no way means they are Havok wannabes. Each track is entirely its own, and there is an eerie carnival-esque breakdown halfway through that catches the listener off-guard without sounding completely out of place in the song.
The title track of the EP closes out the record, a more melodic and poppy track that ties everything together. Oh My Snare! does something different with punk music, and obvious influences aside, Hoyeste Gang sounds like nothing else I’ve heard recently.