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Oakley Hall

Gypsum Strings – 2006 (Brah)

Reviewed by Andy Turner

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CDs by Oakley Hall

Recently signed to a touted indie run by Superchunk's Mac McCaughan and Laura Balance, Oakley Hall couldn't have find a better label name for the group's approach to music: Merge. The highly talented Brooklyn-based sextet brings together country, folk and psychedelica as well as touches of'80s indie greats such as the Feelies and the Pixies.

Mixing pedal steel, dulcimer, fiddle and banjo with loud, fuzzy guitars, the band boasts a noisy but melodic sound - wonderfully enhanced by the lovely harmonies of Pat Sullivan and Rachel Cox. The guitar workout "Lazy Susan" shows Neil Young to be a definite influence while "Nite Lights, Dark Days" is traditional country with raw, ringing garage riffs. Other highlights include the very pleasurable "Having Fun Again" and the seven minute-plus "If I Was in El Dorado." Oakley Hall's fresh, fun take on twang is highly welcome. (brahrecords.com)