OISTER – 1973-74 (Hozac) 2-LP

by admin  23rd Aug 2017 Comments [0]

Heaven-sent for fans of classic ‘70s pop, this is the first ever release by the legendary Tulsa outfit comprising Dwight Twilley and Phil Seymour who would soon thereafter become the great Dwight Twilley band. The Twilley band were a unique hybrid of harmonic Anglophile pop/rock and rockabilly who released two brilliant albums on Shelter—one very polished, one much earthier—before the two principals went solo. Oister was the same but different. The differences may come down to recording technique or simply the youth of our heroes.

There is a charming fragility and innocence here not found in the later Twilley or Seymour stuff. And a dreaminess: indeed much of this is the embodiment of the term ‘dream pop’ and should appeal to a whole host of people who find the concept of power pop anathema. And the current crop of Big Star fans. The lo-fi aspect will also appeal to fans of DIY. There’s a little bit of the baroque but for the most part it’s spirited, minimalist early Beatles/Hollies-style pop rock, with a rootsiness learned from early mentor and former Sun artist Ray Harris, and the frequent prominence of Twilley’s piano lets you know it’s the ‘70s. Most of the songs here were later rerecorded for official release, including the sublime “You Were So Warm,” but even a lot of the re-recordings have only appeared on Twilley rarities collections, and the versions are strikingly different. The material is uniformly strong; the never-before-released “Pop Bottle” is a stunner.

Thank god for the current power pop revival and Hozac for this release: hopefully it will lead to a wider appreciation of Dwight and Phil and all their recordings. Now can someone put it out on CD for me please? (David Laing)