Exposé Online banner

Oak — False Memory Archive
(Karisma KAR, 2018, CD / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2019-03-30

False Memory Archive Cover artAccording to their biographical sketch, Oak started as a folk duo, and that background still provides a backdrop for the elaborate constructions of the current band on their second album. Behind the masses of keyboards, overdubbed guitars, and atmospheric production, there are songs that could be done on a couple of acoustic guitars and still be recognizable. False Memory Archive (aside from being a great title) is a sophisticated album with a sound in the same general area as Bjørn Riis (who appears as a guest on on track), Rhys Marsh, and other purveyors of intelligent rock music with progressive tendencies. Some of the highlights include the great vocal arrangements in “Lost Causes,” where several parts twine around each other, and the odd electronic noises incorporated into the drum part through much of “We, the Drowned.” Simen Valldal Johannessen handles all the vocals, both lead and backing as far as I can tell, as well as keyboards. His voice ranges from breathy to forceful tones, and he’s good at both, with a quality that doesn’t sound quite like anyone else. Stephan Hvinden plays guitar, though guests appear on several tracks as well; bassist Øystein Sootholtet contributes additional guitars and keyboards; and drummer Sigbjørn Reiakvam also gets keyboard credit. I’d hesitate to categorize Oak as progressive rock, though I can’t think of a concise label that really applies. Genre labels are unnecessary, however, so listeners should be able to just listen and enjoy what they hear. Fans of Gazpacho, Mandala, The Pineapple Thief, and others of a like sound should feel at home with Oak.

Filed under: New releases, 2018 releases

Related artist(s): Bjørn Riis, Oak

More info
http://oakinoslo.bandcamp.com/album/false-memory-archive

Latest news

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more

2020-04-23
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Iona - Beyond These Shores – Three albums on now, Iona's latest release shows a higher degree of maturity and refinement overall. Still solidly in the Celtic folk-rock vein, they are in many ways comparable to bands like...  (1995) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues