Reviews

EP review: Oakman – SCP

French pop-rockers Oakman deliver delirium and darkness with a spoonful of syrup on shimmering six-track SCP...

EP review: Oakman – SCP
Words:
Sam Law

Even the sweetest sounds nowadays seem to be smuggling some sharpness within. Arriving under an acronym for ‘Sugar Coated Pill’, that certainly seems to be the case for this third EP from Oakman. 2016’s Waterscape and 2018’s Plastic World marked the Lyon trio as a power-pop force, full of explosive colour and hidden complexity, but after four years that have encompassed love and death, a global pandemic, health scares and deep reflections on the consequences of abuse, they plumb deeper here, and soar higher than ever before.

Night pulls back the curtain with an loose, synth-driven heartbeat as vocalist/guitarist Marine extols the importance of seizing every sundown like it could be your last. Superb second track Murder starts with a kicking beat before slipping into the shimmering, sepia electropop of an act like Electric Youth, while Marine considers the weight carried by victims of sexual misconduct: ‘How many nights will I bite the dust?’ Fantasy enters rockier territory, with an undulating synth riff immediately evoking peak Paramore while sparse handclaps and stabs of overdriven guitar add a sense of Gallic flair.

SCP’s second half seems to give a clearer picture of Oakman’s impressive range, though. The driving title-track ups the tempo, playing on the unreasonable urgency felt by victims of loneliness, before aching highlight Lucky Charm pumps the brakes with its straightforwardly romantic tale of kids dreaming ‘about that day when our bodies will fly away…’ It’s with All The Way Up’s hypnotically uplifting wish for new beginnings that the trio close out, however. Proof, perhaps, that this is their reset before really taking on the world.

Verdict: 4/5

For fans of: Paramore, CHVRCHES, All Time Low

SCP is out now via Rude Records

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