Ole English from a style standpoint is a bit hard to describe. The Lafayette, Louisiana band describe themselves as “warlock rock,” but what does that mean? Well, picture Red Fang if they were to get into Lord of the Rings, or maybe Wolfmother with a bit more whiskey involved in their musical creation.
With their self-titled debut, Ole English gives us five songs that equal out to around 26 minutes in total. The music here is good, though not groundbreaking. Nick Harvey and Lynden Segura crank out loud, fuzzy riffs on the guitar that are enough to bang your head to without scaring off your classic rock-loving friends. But don’t expand to the experimental heights of the aforementioned Wolfmother. The vocals here are clean throughout, and the production of the album does a good job letting them breathe when they want to rise to a higher pitch.
The problem to be had with Ole English is the fact that for an album that clocks out to be less than half an hour, I just can’t, for the life of me, get through it without spacing out. In all, Ole English is a quick album that seems to fall somewhat flat on holding the attention of its listener. But when you are paying attention, you’ll enjoy it.
There is strong promise here. The fifth track “Visions of Ghana” offer us a glimpse of what Ole English has the potential to explode into. A mysterious guitar riff that leads us into howling vocals that sing of gods watching from above as a city burns, while black masses chant and blood runs through the runes they’ve carved in stone. Give me more of this.
Overall, the music is fun and works well if you’re just looking for something to bang your head to for a few minutes, but it doesn’t draw me in and keep my attention like Soundgarden, Kyuss, or the Sword – all bands that Ole English say they draw inspiration from in their promo release. A lot of bands hit a “sophomore slump” with their second album, but this debut leaves me curious to see Ole English stretch their legs and get more experimental and unique.