If you've been following this site at all in the past 6 months, you should already know what the premise of this CD is, but just in case you just learned how to read or something, I'll break it down for you: THICK Records set up a mini-recording studio inside a decrepit, albeit still working oil blending factory. They then invited in 19 of Chicago's finest bands to lay down exclusive tracks. They accomplished this all within 14 days. OIL is the completed product.
So who's on this thing, you ask? Just to get it all out of the way up front, here's the list, in order of appearance on the comp: Rise Against, Haymarket Riot, Alkaline Trio, Duvall, The Dishes, The Arrivals, Lawrence Arms, The Ghost, Owls, Tom Daily, The Tossers, Plain White T's, Detachment Kit, The Reputation, Local H, Check Engine, Bitchy, The Matics, and Bob Nanna [of Hey Mercedes/Braid].
I don't know about you, but that is quite the "who's who" of the Chicago scene currently. So let's take a look at some of the bright spots:
I only chose to highlight a handful of these songs, but to be honest, there's not a dud in the bunch. It's amazing how, even though all 19 bands could record with generally the same equipment in the same setting, the songs can all still come out sounding drastically different, production-wise. It just adds more character to the band and to the compilation, and makes it even more of a winner.
Really, everything is covered here, from the noise rock of Haymarket Riot and Detachment Kit, to the female-fronted bands like the Reputation and the Dishes, to the almost over-the-top artsiness of groups like the Owls and Check Engine. This CD is more than just a snapshot of a scene; it's something much more permanant. In the canon of indie rock, OIL has earned a place among the "essentials" of the scene.
Alkaline Trio - Old School Reasons [clip]
The Arrivals - Pangea [clip]
The Dishes - Use Your Arms [clip]
Look at pictures from the OIL sessions here.
Read journal entries from the OIL sessions here.