Hey Sholay – ((O))

Hey Sholay – ((O))

((O)), Hey Sholay’s recently released debut album, sounds like a nice, breezy spring day in May. You know, one of those days without any clouds to be seen in the clear-blue sky. One of those days during which the birds sing and the flowers bloom. One of those days that you spent with your best friends under the trees and next to the water, and during which everything is just peachy.

So yes indeed, we just might hear Hey Sholay perform for an H&M commercial somewhere in the near future.

Obviously, this introduction was written in jest, but it summarizes Hey Sholay’s ((O)) pretty well nonetheless. It’s a hip, poppy, indie rock record that for the most part tries to display a very polished, almost marketing-like euphoric feeling with its contents. It does what it is set out to do, but it lacks the variety in tracks needed to elevate the album and make it into something special. However, ((O)) is still a strong collection of songs, and if you are a fan of poppy indie rock, you should definitely give it a try.
Oh, and did I mention these guys are influenced by psychedelic as well?

((O)) starts very strong with Wishbone (Wish Wish Wish), possibly the best track on the album. Its introduction slows you in to the easy-to-digest sound you will hear for most of the album, and it explodes into picture perfect euphoria after a minute-and-a-bit. Wishbone keeps you engaged until the end, and it’s all too easy to hit that repeat-button by the time it ends.

My Blood and Go Easy Tiger are slightly less powerful, but the psychedelic influences on especially My Blood make up for some of that loss. The song sometimes hints towards MGMT, which can hardly be considered a bad thing. Go Easy Tiger is missing that little touch of fairy dust and is a little less impressive, but it is by no means a bad track.
The Bears the Clocks the Bees continues the general fashion of the album as the honey sweet song it is. However, Hey Sholay makes a better use of the simple psychedelic influences on this track, and it reminded me a bit of Grandaddy’s fantastic The Cristal Lake.

By the time Shut the Devil at the Backdoor / A Day in the Country, Berlin sets in, the unfortunate feeling of repetition starts to peek through the door a bit. Although the songs all slightly differ, the overall emotion of the album hardly changes, and the happy indie sound starts to wear a little thin. That isn’t to say that Shut the Devil… itself is a mediocre track – quite the contrary, it is one of the better ones on the album – but it doesn’t provide a different flavor, which is what ((O)) generally lacks.

The next song, Burning, is a very energetic piece with a great feel-good attitude. Hey Sholay once again shows their love for simple psychedelic additions, and these melt together very well with the rest of this track.
Dreamboat and Ol’ St. Nick, the tracks following Burning, do the same thing as My Blood and Go Easy Tiger did before. They don’t stick out as fantastic, but they don’t hurt the record either.

With Golden is the Colour of the Sun (Run Rabbit), the final track of album, the band finally changes the scenery. All of a sudden, the happy, poppy sound makes way for a darker, denser sound. As suggested above, this is indeed a welcome change, but since it comes so late and is all on its own, it does make the track feel slightly out of place between the rest of the album. One or two extra tracks that would musically be somewhere between Golden… and the other tracks would have balanced the album a little better and would have made Golden… the great last track it deserves to be. That is not to say that it isn’t a proper closer now, but it is a bit of an odd, dark ending to an otherwise lighthearted album.

Verdict: 3.5/5
Hey Sholay delivered a quality album with a very solid sound. Paradoxically though, it is this solid sound that keeps ((O)) from being what it could be. The poppy indie rock sound doesn’t vary enough, and becomes a bit too predictable towards the end, which the even the psychedelic and sometimes almost experimental influences can’t prevent. That said, Hey Sholay has still created a strong feel-good record that will likely please the (future) fans of the band, which is even more impressive given that ((O)) is their debut album.

Tracklist:
Wishbone (Wish Wish Wish)
My Blood
Go Easy Tiger
The Bears the Clocks the Bees
Shut the Devil at the Backdoor / A Day in the Country, Berlin
Burning
Dreamboat
Ol’ St. Nick
Golden is the Colour of the Sun (Run Rabbit)

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Bas FSM 4 posts

Bas Swinkels is the latest addition to the FSM team. As is the case with Stephan, he is a Dutch native living in Stockholm. He enjoys pony rides, candlelight dinners, and long walks on the beach. Doesn’t only attempt to write reviews, but also attempts to create art. Usually fails at both.

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