We’ve covered Houston’s Overo twice now, once with their Demo and last week with their first single. Today, their debut album Overo is out and it’s head and shoulders above pretty much any screamo band that came before them. The duality of male and female vocals, the melodious moments that move tracks along without turning them into pop songs and the intensity that the four piece brings to these songs is like nothing you’ve heard before while still representing the best parts of the genre.
The best way to describe the album is to understand that this is not what screamo became, but rather what it was. No mall shop signings, no major label contracts and no perfectly crafted advertising campaigns to sell shoes. The sheer organic nature of how the songs run together should let you in on that. The way the songs feel natural and in the moment makes the tracks feel more pure and without hesitation. Less math induced as Frail Hands and more intense than Aussitort Mort, the album has all the trappings of a live recording without any of the drawbacks in sound quality. Recorded by Chris Ryan, it’s the better of the newer screamo albums we’ve heard in a good while.
The opener “The Dead” is a strong example of this sentiment. The melodic tones of the guitars and the bass get interspersed with soft vocals that seem to almost hover above the music. When the screams come in they’re intense and gut wrenching, yet the melodic nature of the track remains-even when the pace picks up and goes harder and faster. When the vocals run together, they work off of each other rather than hinder one another. This use is planned and well written without feeling like eighty people contributed to the track. This continues on the upbeat stride of “Constellations” and bleeds into the following song with ease.
There’s a lot here to unpack in the sense that you’re not used to this kind of structuring to songs, yet it never feels out of place. The loud, quiet, loud demeanor of “Pine and Black Oak” takes the genre to new places, the snappy and up feel of “Diffraction” gives the album plenty of rhythmic overtones and “Joseph” might be our favorite song we’ve heard from the genre since it began. The male female dynamic, the mix of melody versus intensity and the harsh notes utilized when warranted gives the track more than enough weight. The addition of strings in the latter part of the song brings it all full circle, proving that Overo is ready to turn the genre on its ear and never look back.
Overo is available to stream on all platforms, it can be purchased in all digital music stores or physically directly from Middle Man Records. Overo will be on tour tomorrow at Gasa Gasa in New Orleans, LA until June 25 at J&J’s Pizza in Denton, TX. A complete listing of their entire tour schedule can be accessed here.
Image Credits: Photo by Daniela Hernandez.