Pistolita - Oliver Under the Moon (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Oliver Under the Moon (2006)

EastWest / Montalban Hotel

When recording Oliver Under the Moon, I doubt that Pistolita planned on the album ending up so chaotically. Not in the way one would normally think of musical chaos, though. There's no crazy time signatures, no towering riffs, no banshee-like vocals -- where this album gets lost in the chaos is in the production aspect of it.

For a band with only four members, they often times find themselves just treading musical water. Too much going on at once, and the producer was unable to really regulate that, because what all too often happens is the guitars are far too loud to hear the piano, or the piano is too loud to hear the vocals, rendering that given song nothing more than a mess. The basis is nice -- just solid piano driven rock, but the execution, that's what's amiss. "Fadawhite" starts off with some plaintive piano keystrokes and reserved vocal delivery, quickly given way to a much more upbeat rhythm, and this is where things start to get tricky. This is where the band gets lost in their own sense of ambition. It killed Julius Caeser, and it kills this song as well. The problem is that the piano gets louder, the guitar gets louder, and the vocals, like the age of high school girls, just stays the same. This is the common problem that most of the songs have, though others with interchangeable parts. You'll never know what's going to be too loud, and what's going to be too soft to even notice. Worse yet is the screaming that closes a lot of the songs out. Unnecessary at very least, and when it comes down to it, it just sounds silly. A piano and screamed vocals are two things that need never be mixed, a memo Pistolita failed to receive.

I just plain don't know what happened here. The basic elements are good, the thought was there, and it all just…went awry. Bad production, execution that's sorely lacking, both problems that should have been addressed and resolved before this was ever put onto the shelves.