Oakalla blends country with rock and cool harmonies

Oakalla is a Vancouver quintet who have just released their new  self-titled CD on 604 Records, home of bands like Theory of a Deadman, Thornley, Marianas Trench and the Zolas as well as country musicians like Jessie Farrell and Aaron Pritchett.
Click hear to hear OakallaOakalla, including brothers guitarist Josh Hlookoff and drummer Jonas Hlookoff along with vocalist Matt Lebedoff, guitarist Jason Milne and bassist Jed Scharf, falls somewhere in the middle of the label’s hard rock and country line ups.
 Oakalla brings the rock out on the first half of the CD. The second track, ‘Open Door,’ is a catchy roots rocker featuring a Neil Youngish solo. ‘Burn Me’ is a great uptempo rocker with  a few head turning lyrics about a cheating mother.
 Lebedoff’s voice is very reminiscent of Australian ’80s roots rockers, the Church, except with a touch of pedal steel guitar. Mr. Smith is  a tender sounding but hard edged country song and not so subtle middle finger to a bad boss. An ex-girlfriend, ‘Darlene’ gets similar treatment. They are pretty cool counterpoint to uptempo rockers like the punk tinged, (and my favourite)  ’Give It’ which features some pretty cool harmonized guitar playing, which sounds a lot like like Queens of the Stone Age meets the Church. The guitar harmonies are also a highlight of ‘War.’
 ‘Cold, Cold Wind’ has a pretty laid back B3 organ riff played by Simon Kendall, which sounds like a lost Blue Rodeo cut.
‘Waiting to be Found,’ is a mid tempo rocker with  some more harmonized guitars
 The band’s first up beat, almost Theory of a Deadman sounding single, ‘War’ has been added to Muchmusic’s video rotation and the Cd is getting play on campus radio stations across Canada.
It ends on another upbeat, Blue Rodeo style, note with roots rocker ‘Take Me Home.’
— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
CD: Oakalla
Band: Oakalla
genre: country rock/ rock
Record label: 604 Records