Norman, Oklahoma is already home to everybody from The Flaming Lips (QRO live review) to Evangelicals (QRO spotlight on) – not to mention the Norman Music Festival (QRO festival recap) – but the college town has largely shown a mostly experimental (and downright weird) side to the Blue States with its acts. A nice counterpoint to that is Locust Avenue, whose groovy, smooth styles go down easy on Three O’clock Target.
While the title to opener “Frenzy” would imply more acid-craziness from the home of Oklahoma University, that’s really a misnomer, as it instead sets the stage well with its laid-back Brit-rock. The following “Hold On” adds a little Okee guitar twang, but it is “Skeletons” that really goes for the neo-Sixties vibe, in a sunny, Beach Boys-esque way. Unfortunately, Three O’clock Target kind of slips in the middle with the stripped and decent “Curtains” and the grander, but too long, “Doorways”. Meanwhile, “Unglued” is touching, but a touch forgettable. Thankfully, in between those last two is the solid guitar-pop fun of “Down the Line”, which really revives Locust Avenue’s mission statement. And Three O’clock ends on two strong notes, first the catchy sun-strum of “Loaded”, then the pop/rock with real catch, “Get Off the Farm” (like “Doorways”, it’s an extended piece, but this finisher is well worth it).
While the original sunny sounds of the Sixties was more associated with Liverpool and California, North America’s West & Mid-West has been putting out its new take on this old vibe for a while now, from Denver’s acclaimed Apples in Stereo (QRO album review) to more recent acts like Vancouver’s The Orchid Highway (QRO album review). Locust Avenue knows that waves are waves, even if they’re grain.
MP3 Stream: "Down the Line"