For any young band it can take time to find your sound and to find an identity, and for Leicester five piece Omaha the scenario is no different. Having started out as a your typical aggressive metalcore outfit, they’ve now taken a change in direction and opted for a more accessible rock sound. It’s a change that has had a possible effect and has seemingly opened doors for Omaha. BBC Radio One’s Rock Show recently played their latest single and this new EP, ‘Chapters’, is being released on the emerging US label We Are Triumphant.
The EP begins strongly with the lead off single, ‘Devilish Acts’ quickly solidifying the bands new musical approach. It’s a catchy, well-paced number that demands to played on repeat and uses elements of current radio-bothering UK rock bands such as Mallory Knox and You Me At Six. Most notably vocalist Jack Voss sounds freakishly very similar to the latter’s Josh Franceschi. At first its a slight nuisance but after a few inevitable repeated plays you realise Voss has an incredible powerful set of lungs.
As the EP settles in tracks like ‘Strangers Embrace’ keeps up the momentum with Voss’ vocals taking centre stage whilst being complimented stabbing guitars, and a tight structure. Most notably its pay off comes in the form of the closing chorus that shines through following
a slow bridge section that builds up to a strong finish. ‘Homebound’ allows the quintet to take a slower, more atmospheric approach with its distant guitars brewing away during the opening verse just waiting to burst through. Its pay off is subtle yet rewarding with strong harmonies, confident lead vocals and intricate guitars.
Omaha could of bashed out six run-of-the-mill catchy alt-rock songs but as tracks like ‘GND’ and the aforementioned “Homebound’ show, they’re willing to change things up. ‘GND’ opens with an upbeat, cabaret-like tempo that gives way to a radiant chorus with jangly guitars. whilst its bridge is edgy with bitter vocals. It’s no surprise that this is set to be the EPs next single. It is an ideal choice that will surely switch people on the to the band.
Next up is ‘There’s No Room For Doubt’ and this is unfortunately what lets ‘Chapters’ and Omaha down. While it does have a favourable powerful alt rock sound, it follows into the trap of sounding like to many other bands. It’s quickly forgettable.
The EP is somewhat rescued and rounded off with ‘The Final Scene.’ With its twinkling guitars complimenting Voss’ confident vocals in the opening verse giving way to a stirring, punchy midsection. Whilst an unknown female guest vocalist is effectively used and the downbeat lyrical nature gives the track a sense of intimacy. It’s gripping conclusion ends the EP on a high and leaves us wanting more.
Overall Omaha face a difficult task of standing out from the crowd but with ‘Chapters’ they’ve planted a distinctive seed to do just that in the future. Tracks like ‘Devilish Acts’ and ‘GND’ especially shows off their potential. Musically and structurally they’re pretty much on par with the bands they will be consistently compared to in the coming months.
This is where Omaha’s downfall is. Although they’ve produced 6 songs of favourable, neatly produced alt rock, they don’t quite form their own identity; something that is needed for any band to be recognised in a clustered market. Nevertheless Omaha are still ones to watch in 2015 as its clear they’re capable of producing something brilliant. ‘Chapters’ could be the first step towards bigger things for Omaha.
‘Chapters’ EP by Omaha is out now on We Are Triumphant.
Words by Sean Reid (@SeanReid86)