The wiggy wanderings of Oog Bogo wind up on the same island of lost joys all at once, manufacturing a virtual jukebox of singles and side flips that won’t unplug, and just keeps reeling and raging on instead. A bright metallurgy of guitar pop, psych, post-punk and apocalypse disco embosses the sleek, multicoloured flash of ‘Plastic’.
Oog Bogo are a four-piece rock band from Los Angeles and their new album is ‘Plastic’, an electrifying set of songs and sounds that just don’t stop, working like a machine that makes joy and endless flips and repetitions, whether in front of the turntable or out in the real world.
In the past several years, Oog Bogo dropped two records that previewed this explosion in wildly divergent ways: 2019’s ‘Oogbogo’ EP, with wigged-out production, its contorted fun house mirror images pulling punk, psych and new wave in and out of focus in a chaotic procession of mutant tunes. 2021’s ‘EP2’ radiates a starkly different vibe, as chilled-out guitar-pop tunes conjure a flowing medley of plaintive echoes and atmospheres in a mellow mist of hiss.
Kevin Boog recorded these records in a largely hermetic state: at home on 4-track, playing all the parts, slowly drawing out the sounds. The songs for ‘Plastic’ were demoed this way too, as a starting point for a group interpretation - but when, for obvious reasons, logistics prevented everyone from getting in the same room to even rehearse, the planned recording session at Ty Segall’s Harmonizer Studios took on a different shape.
Starting off with only drummer Thomas Alvarez (Audacity) to accompany him, Kevin realized that any obstacles to getting the record made were also opportunities, for something else that was also right to happen. Rather than reach for the design of the demos, he kept himself in the present moment, approaching every passage as fluidly as possible, playing what he needed to play, staying open to what he needed to know. It didn’t hurt that the laptop with all his songs crashed right after he walked into the studio! There was no way possible but forward.
The direction was right on with the guys at Harmonizer - Ty Segall’s sense of imagination made him the ideal production counterpart to walk together with Kevin into this world, psyched to experiment and ready to get weird at any time. Ty and engineer Matt Littlejohn met all requests and requirements in the form of sounds, with gear and approaches that amazed and delighted, and an eternally ebullient spirit.
As this was Oog Bogo’s first time recording away from home, Kevin was a kid in a candy store - where the store owner turns out to be a Wonka-esque philanthropist. As band members Mike Kreibel (Dirty & His Fists) and Shelby Jacobson (Shannon Lay) joined the session, there was a synchronicity and community with everyone involved, finding an unexpected road to realizing the songs, with all the colours and hues they added making everything pop that much harder.
Fluidity was key: ‘Plastic’’s tunes depict a polymorphic cast of characters. As in life, they leap avidly from style to style; from pretty psych rock to new wave apocalypse disco and harsh post punk bleakness, sometimes in a verse and a half. Corkscrewing over and over like a riff-driven space-coaster, morphing in and out of each successive moment with increasing momentum and gravity, ‘Plastic’ defines and redefines Oog Bogo, with sweet tunes, barely-controlled intensity and sharp production moves - a killer first album and an equally killer evolving state of mind.