May 17, 2013
Since 1995 and every day of my life there on out, the soundtrack to the cult alt-teen underdog comedy Angus has been and will remain my favorite movie compilation of all time. It's a flawless selection of the sounds from the '90s that were more underbelly punk than obvious arena grunge greats of that era, although it still gets excellently fuzzy with arguably the best songs ever written by Weezer ("You Gave Your Love to Me Softly") and Green Day ("J.A.R",) cuts from Ash, the Smoking Popes, the Riverdales and even a freaking Goo Goo Dolls song hitting all the right marks of chunky pedal-pushed power pop. Right now, we're going through this befuddling moment in assessing rising acts who've PHd’d in Gen X history by dumping them under a "Dinosaur Jr, Nirvana or Pavement" umbrella, and it has AwkwardSound scratching its head asking around where everyone was when Music from the Motion Picture Angus came out. The Newtown, CT trio Ovlov are just the shade of in-between grunge-punk that's needed to force critics into thinking out their name drops a bit harder as the band approaches the release of their debut full-length Am, due out on July 2nd via the go-to label for loud and scuzzy DIY basement scene noise, Exploding In Sound (who AS has also pointed as recent as last week to being home to previous BUZZSounds Two Inch Astronaut, Fat History Month, Grass Is Green, Pile and alumni Speedy Ortiz before they moved on to Carpark.) The past four years have brought various switch-ups within the group, but under the tutelage of founding member and frontman Steve Hartlett, a brotherly bond has prevailed in cementing Ovlov's permanent lineup with siblings Theo manning the kit and Jon on bass. There's a common thread of heady alt-rock influence tying Ovlov together with their labelmates, but hook-heavy power chords popping off the reverb-drenched pages in tracks like Am's first preview "Blue Baby" and early EP listen "The Valley" wink back more to Cuomo in his prime than Cobain in death, or the brainy pop-punk of Hüsker Dü rather than the stoner sludge beveled by J Mascis and company, as Hartlett’s prose speaks to both stages of awkward pubescence and reluctant adulthood struggling keep afloat in life’s rat race. Ovlov are about to embark on a a tour of the east coast and midwest with Grass Is Green in support of their debut, likely becoming the soundtrack to someone's life in the process.