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Reeve Oliver - Reeve Oliver (Cover Artwork)

Reeve Oliver

Reeve Oliver: Reeve OliverReeve Oliver (2004)
Militia Group

Reviewer Rating: 4


Contributed by: maverickScott
(others by this writer | submit your own)

For all of its bands and records, the Militia Group tends to only really get lucky once a year. Last year, it was the beautiful, lush indie-pop of Copeland. This year, it's the addictive, bouncy post-hardcore/pop-rock of Reeve Oliver. Yeah, it sounds bizarre, but one listen and you'll agree that thi.
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For all of its bands and records, the Militia Group tends to only really get lucky once a year. Last year, it was the beautiful, lush indie-pop of Copeland. This year, it's the addictive, bouncy post-hardcore/pop-rock of Reeve Oliver. Yeah, it sounds bizarre, but one listen and you'll agree that this is about all Reeve Oliver can be categorized as.

The San Diego trio's frontman, Sean O'Donnell, has a voice that is as strong and colorful as J. Robbins of Jawbox/Burning Airlines/Channels fame, but instead of retreading the same territory that Robbins and Co. mapped out in the mid-nineties, O'Donnell guides Reeve Oliver down the power-pop route, with heavy Foo Fighters and early-Weezer influences every which where on the album. So essentially you have the intensity of a quality DC post-punk band mixed with the (ever-popular rock critic term) "pop sensibility" of the best the nineties had to offer.

The opening pair of "I Want Burns" and "I Don't Want To Know" show the band's poppier side almost instantly -- these songs could be in the next teen sex comedy, just for their sheer catchiness delivered by clever harmonies and well-placed handclaps. You can just picture "the gang" cruising up to the beach in their Jeep and scoping out their romantic prospects right as the songs wrap up. Immediately after, "Young And Dumb" fuses some of the crunchiest guitar parts I've ever heard surrounding a hypnotic Jawbox-esque melody. Even though the album was recorded by O'Donnell himself, it was mixed by Mark Trombino, and the overall sonic quality of the record represents this quite obviously.

The band's diversity within the pop-rock genre on these 11 tracks is rather impressive. To make the jump from the rocking, upbeat "On The Floor" to the jangly "Yer Motion" (containing perfect uses of falsetto) to the subdued acoustics of "An Offer She Can't Refuse" further showcase the band's strong songwriting skill as well as knowing just what instrument should be where and when. As this record plays out, you just get the feeling that these songs have been cooking up in O'Donnell's head for years; this is the record he's been dying to make, and he's succeeded.

Now be forewarned - regardless of all the influences present on this record ranging from post-hardcore heroes to geek-rock inventors, this is a pop record at heart. As such, the songs are about girls. Nothing groundbreaking there, but even still, O'Donnell sings with such passion and conviction that Reeve Oliver's debut album is leaps and bounds above virtually any band who you would consider their contemporary. Watch this band closely, because only an act of God would prevent these guys from blowing up.

MP3
I Want Burns [clip]

STREAMING AUDIO
I Want Burns
I Don't Want To Know
Young And Dumb


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
TheMarc (October 3, 2004)

The last comment was me, as if anyone cares.

Anonymous (October 3, 2004)

Dogwood is the shit. Why'd you have to go, Sean?!

adam (October 1, 2004)

No I'm saving myself for BSD.

-adam

TheOneTrueBill (October 1, 2004)

"For me personally, at the end of the day though I'm a record collector first and formost, so despite the label on the CD I'll pick it up if I enjoy it. Maybe that's selfish or immoral in the eyes of the indie gods, but I really don't care what they think."

Will you marry me?

Anonymous (September 30, 2004)

that was the oddest series of comments, ever.

adam (September 30, 2004)

Well that's reasonable enough.

However before you let your morals get the best of you, remember that Interpol is on Matador, which while an independent label is distributed by the Alternative Distribution Alliance, which is owned by Warner Music, a major label. So somewhere along the line one of these companies is involved and is getting some cut of your dollar.

For me personally, at the end of the day though I'm a record collector first and formost, so despite the label on the CD I'll pick it up if I enjoy it. Maybe that's selfish or immoral in the eyes of the indie gods, but I really don't care what they think.

-adam

Anonymous (September 30, 2004)

I fail to see how my attitude can bite back oneday. Everyone here can agree that there are thousands upon thousands of amazing independantly-released records available in the world right now. It's impossible for anyone to get them all but I, for one, will do my best to accumulate a large number of them while ignoring the distractions thrown out by major labels.

I'm not saying everything majors release is crap. There are indeed some great ones out there. You see an amazing new Modest Mouse CD alongside an amazing new Interpol CD. You think of what Sony or Epic or whoever stand for in comparison to Matador, and you make the positive choice by automatically selecting the Interpol CD. Modest Mouse don't need your money. God knows there are millions of people who will fill the band and Sony's pockets.

Besides, the people at Sony are evil by nature; there's no getting around that. It's a humanitarian concept, really.

-Mr. Cred

adam (September 30, 2004)

Mr Cred, you'll find one day that reality and extreme idealism don't quite synch up. If you're that discerning a consumer I hope you're putting your opinion to good use and helping some worthy indie acts out. For your passion's only going too waste if it's only used in insults.

-adam

Anonymous (September 30, 2004)

How can you listen to such shitty mainstream dredge, Adam? I thought you knew better than that. Down with the majors. ANYTHING on a major, including (as good as they are) Built to Spill and My Bloody Valentine. Maintain the cred.

-Mr. Cred

adam (September 29, 2004)

"So you only Staffers only review shit that gets sent in as promos? Thats kinda wack."

I don't think that's true at all. What was implied in Scott's Social D comment was that if a label wants a review up for the release date, then they can't assume one of us will buy it on the release day and review/publish that same day (and the reviews would REALLY suck then).

A good portion of the stuff I review is from copies I've purchased myself. The Lashes, Libertines, Hives, Buzzcocks reviews for example is all stuff I went out and bought. It usually works that if we buy something for ourselves and have something to say, it'll be reviewed, but for obvious economic reasons we can't possibly buy all the stuff we review (...and, you know, still eat).

-adam

FortyMinutesWest (September 29, 2004)

"So you only Staffers only review shit that gets sent in as promos? Thats kinda wack."

I review other stuff when I have time, I'm the reviewer of the people.

maverick (September 29, 2004)

"So you only Staffers only review shit that gets sent in as promos? Thats kinda wack."

What, did you think Jesse bought all those shitty CDs himself?

-Scott

Anonymous (September 29, 2004)

This band is really amazing... and I'd say even better live. They have the most character and personality on stage that I've seen in quite some time. For clarification, the guitarist/singer used to play guitar in Dogwood, and "O" (Otisserie) the bassist led the band Fluf. Everyone should really give this band a chance and see them live before everyone else in the world finds out about them.

Anonymous (September 29, 2004)

You're right about Beautiful Mistake, good stuff.

sickboi (September 29, 2004)

So you only Staffers only review shit that gets sent in as promos? Thats kinda wack.

fakesmile (September 29, 2004)

There's a review on the new Social D. up on http://www.allmusic.com. So if you can't wait, look there.

Anonymous (September 29, 2004)

Do we really need a review of Social D? It's just going to sound like their last album, and the album before that, and the album before that....

FortyMinutesWest (September 29, 2004)

I don't usually judge a band by their label, but with The Militia Group, it's more than fair.

inagreendase (September 29, 2004)

Addressing Social D issues one last time:

Adam will be receiving the album in the very near future. After sufficient listening, he will review it. The end.

Anonymous (September 29, 2004)

"the Beautiful Mistake's last album is the best record the Militia Group has ever put out."

that's not saying much.

Anonymous (September 28, 2004)

didnt one of the dudes in this band play bass for screeching weasel?

pastepunk (September 28, 2004)

Records labels not knowing how to promote a punk band to the punk community?!?! Yea... that never happens... SOCIAL DISTORTION would have been so much better off on a label like Epitaph

Anonymous (September 28, 2004)

the Beautiful Mistake's last album is the best record the Militia Group has ever put out.

Anonymous (September 28, 2004)

Not. Good.

Liars Academy is where it's at.

Anonymous (September 28, 2004)

this band is getting way to much credit. they are talented but the lyrics are horrible. seriously. i want burns is a great song but the cd goes downhill from there. the lyrics are just bad. fourth grade bad. like he first thought of rhyming words and then just put words in front of them to make a song. repeatedly.

maverick (September 28, 2004)

Look - get Social Distortion, their label, or their PR company to send us a copy of the record for review, and we'll review it. It's not my fault that the people who handle the band don't know how to promote their new record.

-Scott

gladimnotemo (September 28, 2004)

"Social D?"

easily the best comment so far.

adam (September 28, 2004)

And I'll tell you again up in this review...

I didn't know DIY promotion mean spamming the site. How about you get smart and submit some news or send a CD for review if you want some promotion? Posting your link 500 times is SPAM and just pisses everyone off.

-adam

Anonymous (September 28, 2004)

dont check out that band, they suck.

Anonymous (September 28, 2004)

anyway this website doesnt allow DIY promotion, so maybe you cant check it out

TheOnetrueBill (September 28, 2004)

Social D?

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