American five-piece Old Dominion have dominated the charts with the release of their first album Meat and Candy. Formed in 2007 the Nashville group have garnered recognition not just with their attention-grabbing choices in album art but with their vocal quivers, extended instrument techniques, a multitude of textures, chilled out comradery and an entire spectrum of emotions relayed through unique storytelling with crisp and skillful song writing.
Stand out tracks? All of them! These guys are masters of their music and not a single song on this album is without a unique character; it’s impossible to fault this album and one can run the risk of waxing lyrical over the brilliance of each track. Slickly opening the album with cool drum lines and a funky rhythm guitar Snapback is gripping with its subtle vocal harmonies and gorgeous development in texture.
Songs like Half Empty and Nowhere Fast address the typical lost love topics to be expected from country-rock but it’s the range of vocalist Matt Ramsey that shakes up these kinds of songs; supported by gentle acoustic guitars and light punctuation of an electric organ, these are reflective tracks rather than the belly aching found in most ballads of this genre. Wrong Turns brings heavy metal traits as the opening riff grinds beneath the rap-like lyrics which punctuate throughout, with a dreamy banjo and soaring vocals.
Meat and Candy is not without cheese; Said Nobody is a catchy and sexy track with more of that funk-rock rhythm and witty lyricism that shows Old Dominion’s playful side; ‘I don’t want to wake up in the morning, slightly your side of the bed, said nobody ever!’ Current single Break Up With Him is heavier on country tones than surrounding tracks and is laced with metaphors and tongue-in-cheek lyrics that are reflected in their mischievous video.
Old Dominion are without doubt masters of manipulation and have produced a record that not only showcases their amazing talent musically but their skills as wordsmiths and producers with their sinfully catchy songs. Meat and Candy is country, it’s rock and roll, it’s R b’ B and funk, it’s fun, sexy and seductive, it’s music making at its absolute best!