Album Review: Only Living Boy, ‘Cool Collected Headcase’

bill bodkin gets in some late night sessions of rock ‘n’ roll …

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It’s rare that the hum of a guitar can give you chills.

On “I Beg Your Pardon,” the opening track of Only Living Boy’s new EP, Cool Collected Headcase, the hum of the guitar really grabs you. You can tell within the reverberation that there’s something new, something special coming our way from the face-melting trio known as OLB.

Cool Collected Headcase is an EP that serves not just a way to satiate our hunger for new Only Living Boy recorded material but as a sampler, a preview, a coming attraction of the new chapter in this band’s career.

When we heard the band’s last record Hide Nothing back in 2011, we really thought it was a fantastic full length. However, after hearing the new EP you can tell that OLB has stepped up their game in every department.

What’s crazy about this EP is that Only Living Boy has become tighter in terms of the production of their album yet the ferocity and freewheeling-ness of their whiskey-soaked rock ‘n’ roll is greater than its ever been before. So, basically it’s chaos and control slamming together in the musical mosh pit known as Only Living Boy’s songbook. It’s just awesome to listen to the dichotomy of sound on all four of the tracks on CCH.

If you’re still a bit foggy on what this new sound really, well, sounds like … let’s play everyone’s favorite game, ‘What mainstream bands does this indie band sound like?’ To this reviwer’s ears, Only Living Boy’s new songs sounds like if Clutch, Corrosion of Conformity and old school ZZ Top (pre-MTV era) got together, got really drunk and birthed a really bluesy baby … one that had a cigarette hanging from its lips and Jack Daniels on its breath.

In essence, Only Living Boy’s Cool Collected Headcase is damn fine rock ‘n’ roll. Get on it now.

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Bill Bodkin is the owner, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break. Most importantly, however, he is the proud father of a beautiful daughter, Sophie. He can be seen regularly on the site reviewing The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, and is the host of the site's podcast, The BreakCast. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English. Follow him on Twitter: @BodkinWrites