Since the Dallas-Fort Worth trio's formation in 2010, Oil Boom has always been something of a throwback, conjuring that same cocky bravado and sound of rock 'n' roll's unrivaled reign in the 70s.
But it's more than slick styling, impressive facial hair and vintage guitar riffs; the band exudes the same humor and levity that is often lost in todays self-serious state of rock.
In lieu of cross-country pilgrimages, icon worship or historical lessons, Oil Boom cracks wise on social media, titling songs There May or May Not Be Blood, Escalator Up to Heaven or Röckenröül, and getting laughs, smiles and only an occasional cease-and-desist letter for its efforts.
Humor is hugely influential. We work hard, and the music is the most important thing, but I never wanted us to take ourselves too seriously, said frontman Ryan Taylor. You got to add a little humor to it for yourself and your fans. I fail miserably often, but at least I try.
That streak continues with Red Metal, Oil Boom's new album, released in October. Sonically expansive, the trio finally found its signature sound within the writing and recording process. Evoking the same stripped-down simplicity that garnered so many comparisons to The Black Keys over the years, the band also added in classic glam rock undercurrents (Mid-Range Jumper) and indie pop structure (The Sneak Tip). This album represents a lot of growth and hutzpah.
We progressed beyond our comfort zone, Taylor said. We worked in something new and incorporated different influences, experimented in the studio a little more than before.
Helmed by Grammy-winning producer and engineer Jordan Richardson, Red Metal is the trio's breakout. Frenzied single The Sneak Tip snuck right into NPR's Heavy Rotation lineup this fall. Also, Oil Boom released a Daytrotter session this summer and undertook some of its most extensive touring to date.
With each milestone, more eyes are on this Lone Star State act, and at just the right time, by the group's estimation. We come from different places musically, and were slowly figuring out the best place to go as a band, Taylor said of pulling in more disparate influences like Nirvana and Dinosaur Jr. Were going in a different direction that isnt so completely blues-based Its stuff we couldnt have done two years ago.
Even as everything is changing for the better Oil Boom found at least one way to stay in touch with its roots: the rainbow. By following up Black Waxy and Gold Yeller with Red Metal, a tradition was born, one that will keep it anchored home no matter how white-hot the band gets in 2015.
It happened with the first two, and we thought, Why not keep it going? Taylor said. Led Zeppelin has their numbers. We will always have our colors.
Print headline: Metal masterpiece, Dallas-Fort Worth band Oil Boom releases its breakout album and celebrates witha show in Oklahoma City on Saturday.