oait‘s oa!t is a bit strange. Depending on which of the seven songs you start with, you get a different style and feel of what the band is about. Listening through the EP from start to finish, oa!t is a mixture of rock, post-punk, and even a slower electronic indie ballad single with “LEAVE ME ALONE.” But that’s what makes the EP so engaging. It doesn’t have a straight start to finish and keeps you interested.
“FEEDBACK ON MY WORK” is a hybrid punk, rock, and blues track. The 5:37 length gives the song an extended introduction that leads to an extended open verse and bridge. It’s also instrumental which can trick you into thinking the band follows the steps of bands like Lowdown 30 or Julia Dream. What I think “FEEDBACK ON MY WORK” serves as a misdirection. The track shows excellent talent and gives oait the space to set some groundwork right before “ROOM.”
isaiah‘s feature on “ROOM” changes the tone entirely. It’s a rap-lead track with the band giving the vocals support. It doesn’t fall into a rap-rock trap even though some of the standard elements appear. It has a fresh sound that is built off of “FEEDBACK ON MY WORK.” Then with “D O N K E Y !”, come forward with a post-punk and new wave style song. It’s a turn from the first two tracks and starts your oait journey properly. The song is also the main single from the EP.
oait then bring a post-rock/post-punk song forward on “PASS OVER.” The blending of styles is interesting and oait’s commitment to tempo shows very clear. The core instrumentals are solid and the moving guitar line mixed with the bass line and drum rhythms keep a tempo that is close to a sprint.
What surprised me is the next turn of “WHISPER.” This song is a perfect and natural fit in the electronic R&B/pop world. It tears away the faster tempo and just dwells in each verse. It’s a strong song and could have easily fit as a single which would have confused many people when they listened to the entire EP.
“LEAVE ME ALONE” is a surprise. Even though it follows “WHISPER,” it might be the most radio-friendly single. These two tracks show a different angle of the band and they could go in either direction and find a lot of success. Closing oa!t, “ALWAYS THERE” is a mix between the oait’s rock and R&B/pop worlds. It adds more recognizable band instrumentals while incorporating the slower and more melodic vocals found on “WHISPER” and “LEAVE ME ALONE.”
oa!t is an incredibly dense album considering it only has seven songs and explores four or more genres. I think almost anyone can find a song that fits their mood and leaves a lot of open doors to where oait could go. Their single, “Isn’t everything we do in life a way to be loved a little more?” follows the slower style of song, but I can’t imagine oait sitting in this style forever. oait have one of the best EPs of 2021. Even though it’s a bit of a fever dream.