Oxbow - Thin Black Duke (Hydra Head) 2017
The soul and feeling have always been more important that the shapes of the body when it comes to Bay Area-based Oxbow. It’s not exactly what they use or look like – experimental, avant-garde, blues, hardcore, etc. – but what they achieve with it, which has always been way more significant, even if the end result can exist on an entire spectrum and be menacing, violent, and dangerous, but also incredibly gentle and precise.
Their first album in ten years, Thin Black Duke, takes all the awe-inspiring, delightful dynamics to a whole new level and it ends up existing as a sort of living organism with an extremely captivating personality. Thin Black Duke thrives with its perplexing arrangements, and in the midst of it there’s a band making use of baroque pop and delivering one of their most intricate and touching records to date with an impeccable flow, a completely matured vision, and a masterful execution.