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Oslow

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The very title to this article is the exact opening lines to the song Basement Scene written by Atlanta’s experimental rock outfit Deerhunter; whilst this article is matter-of-factly about Sydney’s post-punk quartet Oslow, there is a very convincing connection between all of these constituents.

 

For the ill-informed, the aforementioned Basement Scene is in reference to musical performances that generally involve the punk and hardcore genres and take place in the basement of a residential home instead of a traditional venue. These shows uphold the values of the DIY ethic of the broached genres and act as communal support for touring bands and their fans especially in the independent realm.

 

The four gentleman whom make up the post-punk group Oslow are avid campaigners of this scene or at least the principles it upholds. Upon witnessing their live performance, the four-piece can be seen willingly playing their songs at ground level amongst their fans instead of upon a stage and as guitarist/vocalist Jacob Rossi enlightens HEAVY, it was a concept instilled into them at a young age.

 

“It’s kind of how we grew up; when we were younger and going to shows, especially hardcore shows as kids, there we no stages, it was ground height. Venues like The Den or Castle Hill, they have a tiny stage or basically not one at all and everyone would jump onto it. Our most memorable shows have always been the small and intimate gigs; they are the most enjoyable so we try to make every show we play as real and intimate as possible.”

 

He continues – “In a way, yes, we like to play on the floor as much as possible. If it is a small stage and we can get away with playing on the floor, we prefer to. As a performer, it feels the best to have people on your level, because you are all there and playing music to them at their height, side-by-side. It feels natural and certainly a lot more fun in those close quarters with the audience.”

 

Then in almost a poetic notion he adds: “At the end of the day I mean we are all just people and we are their to hang out and have a good time you know? I don’t see the need for stages if you can getaway without using them.”

 

Even though only weeks have transpired into the year that is 2017, for Oslow, this has become their most important year to date. In early February the band will unleash their debut self-titled album via Resist Records and understandably the quartet could not be more livid about the prospect.

 

“I’m really happy with how it has come together, I think it is a perfect representation of who we are as a band right now and what we have worked towards.” He says – “I’m really proud of Dylan (Farrugia vocals, bass), Sean (Hampstead guitar, vocals) and Alex (Ashtiani, drums) with all the work they have put in. It’s been a weird few years, but we have worked really hard for a number of years and I am really thrilled to have it finally being released.”

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To the followers of Resist Records, a post-punk band releasing their LP on the predominately hardcore driven record label may perhaps be a baffling one. However, that “category” is in short, a simple summation of what Oslow actually create. Elements of Title Fight, Balance And Composure, Superheaven and exquisitely as featured on their first single Cold Dark Space The Cure all build the formula the four-piece have impressed Australia with.

 

Jacob Rossi elaborates, “I never really thought of us as a post-punk band truthfully. Actually when I read our bio that was the first time I had even seen us labelled as that genre.” He exposes in laughter – “It’s strange, whoever someone asks me what kind of band we are, I always find it really hard to answer it. We play what we write which doesn’t necessarily have a plan for its ‘sound’ if that makes sense? If people want to tie a label to it and say that it is post-punk or any other comparison, we think that is really cool and amazing. We are not trying to write in that direction deliberately, it’s what happened and I matter-of-factly really enjoy hearing people’s thoughts on it. It’s what they get out of it from their perspective and that is really incredible.”

 

The project was overseen by producer Dylan Adams (DMAs, James Blake) who also produced the band’s seven-inch No Longer Concerns Me and as Jacob admits readily: “Since 2015 we knew we wanted him for the album”. But what was it that brought Oslow to the attention of famed record owner operator Graham Nixon.

 

“Graham has always been around, whether it was at our shows or putting us a support band on the gigs he booked, especially the international bands he has brought over. He has always encouraged us and shown interest; so when we were demoing the LP, he approached us and asked to hear what we were coming up with. After he heard those he expressed his interest in putting out the album and honestly Resist was our number one choice for our label.”

 

Deservedly after years of touring and a slew of EPs, Oslow are turning the dream into a reality. Although there past has undoubtedly been one of hard work and commitment, their next chapter is one filled with unbelievable promise. So what comes next for the four-piece?

 

“Keep touring, writing and playing whenever we can. Really we want to push ourselves as a band and as musicians individually. We do want to try and tour the USA or Europe, but we have to work on Australia first and properly push the album understandably, which we are undoubtedly excited about!”

 

Written by Will Oakeshott

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