ALBUM REVIEW: Oxbow – The Thin Black Duke | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Hydra Head

Released: 05.05.17





A decade on from their last full-length, the nauseous and spectral The Narcotic Story, Oxbow finally return with their new avant-rock missive, a record that’s immediately their most ambitious and grandly realised work to date.

Guitarist and lead composer Niko Wenner has embraced an unusual (in rock music at least) use of symphonic form and structure, with fragments of melodies repeating and referencing each other throughout the album’s eight songs and strings appearing as unexpected, sharp counterpoints to the dense web the core band produce.

Frontman Eugene Robinson puts in a bravura performance as well, leaping from curdled restraint to fevered fury in the blink of an eye. Unmistakeably, the lengthy composition process Oxbow submitted themselves to has produced some astonishing results.

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