One by OURelease date: May 6, 2022
Label: InsideOut Music
This here is like a flower that has finally unveiled its true power. It is quite a magnificent view that is about to be explored. One of those bands that has brought that flower to life is Beijing’s own OU (pronounced as “O”). They are quite a surprise to me when I listened to their debut release on the InsideOut label entitled, One. Believe me, this is a band that are about to burst the door down with a giant battering ram, ready to be swung down like an enormous motherfucker.
Formed by drummer Anthony Vanacore, the band considers Lynn Wu on vocals, guitarist Zhang Jing, and bassist Chris Cui. Taking aspects from Devin Townsend, Radiohead, and The Gathering, OU take it a step further by raising the temperature levels, hotter than hell.
Each track on One is like a storybook waiting to be opened. From the train-speeding adventures of ‘Mountain’, the band are on this incredible epic ride, waiting for the next big step with unexpected changes between Vanacore’s powder-kegging drum beats, Zhang’s blistering guitar chords which follow Lynn’s operatic-pop textures.
I can hear elements of Roxy Music’s ‘2HB’ and the opening theme to Ghost in the Shell’s Stand Alone Complex to the core. It’s quite a combination to combine Glam and Anime rolled into one. You can imagine Anthony channeling Paul Thompson’s arrangements with his own visual brand of playing that’ll have your eyes glued.
‘Travel’ becomes a far-out introduction with swirling synthesizers going from one area to another by setting the course to light-speed. You can hear the ignition sounds between rhythm sections as Lynn spreads her wings and flies across the mountains with mind-blowing results while ‘Ghost’ and ‘Light’ delve deeper into the meditated temples of healing channeling not just Radiohead, but Terry Riley, Laurie Anderson, and Cluster.
But the band return to its metallic tidal wave once more with Vanacore’s climatic intro for ‘Prejudice’ OU are fighting with fire by going for the jugular as Cui, Jung, and Wu bring massive chaos to the entire city. The Morse code groove for ‘Dark’ sees Kelly sending a message throughout planet Earth for a signal to bring everything back to normal.
It becomes a dramatic response before the ominous growl comes out of the blue to raise hell once more for the last minute of the song. So what was my reaction after being a part of their roller-coaster ride? I was quite amazed from what I was hearing. It was like a big, giant massive painting that has been brought to life with subliming results.
Fresh, surreal, and energetic, OU are proving listeners that prog is more than just a four letter word. And they’re the band to be on the look-out for in the years to come throughout the roaring ‘20s.