I discovered Bobby's Oar earlier this year thanks to Tiny Dragon Music. I thoroughly enjoyed their folk punk sound on the album Not What I'm Looking For which was released in 2017. Back in May the five piece from Seattle, Washington, released a new four song EP named Knots. Knots showed a change in sound for Bobby's Oar, morphing into a more of an emo punk rock band than the folk style they originally played. Would it be as good though?
Knots begins with Tired Eyes. It's just fifty-nine seconds long but does a wonderful job of easing you into the new style of Bobby's Oar. With just some soft acoustic guitar and Greg Hughes’ vocal, the song is about making sure that you spend your time doing things that you love rather than the things you hate. Basically, don't waste your time in a job you hate – do something you enjoy. The song flows seamlessly into the next track, Compass In The City. Starting slowly before exploding into life is a technique many bands use but it's always so effective. I love how well you can hear Tyler Colton's keyboards. Far too often keys get overshadowed on the recording but here they add a lot without becoming overpowering. The song just builds and builds throughout, sounding more and more joyful as it goes on. The song is about finding the positives in your surroundings, even when it looks as if there aren't any.
Life Fights Back again builds slowly but this time it's not so quiet. Drummer Jonny Modes puts down a fantastic driving beat that allows the rest of the band to play off of him before Hughes' vocals come in. On my first listen through of Knots, this song in particular really had me thinking of Spanish Love Songs – especially the vocals. Life Fights Back is about always trying to do your best despite things not always going your way. The final song on Knots is named Comb My Hair. Spending no time with an introduction, Hughes starts the song quickly and you instantly feel involved with the song. The chorus is one of the catchiest on the EP as Hughes sings "I'll comb my hair just to rip out the knots, because I need a little pain today." The track looks at the topic of longing for life to be a little different and to feel something new.
I really enjoyed this new path that Bobby's Oar are going down. It's emotional, sing-along punk rock that will get you feeling the feels as well as getting you to throw your fists in the air with the band. If you're a fan of bands such as Spanish Love Songs and Cold Wrecks, or any sad punk rock bands really, then Bobby's Oar are a band you need to be listening to.
Stream and download Knots here: https://bobbysoar.bandcamp.com/
Like Bobby's Oar here: https://www.facebook.com/bobbysoarmusic/
This review was written by Colin Clark.