Release Date: Jul 20, 2018
Record label: Exploding In Sound
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock
The opening seconds of Ovlov's second album TRU let everyone know right away that the band haven't toned down their guitar attack; the overloaded tones come flowing like lava out of the speakers and fill the ear canal with pure distortion and majestically fuzzy overtones. If anything, the band may have upped the stakes since 2013's Am made them the forerunners to take over the mantle of underground guitar heroes from Dinosaur Jr and Built to Spill. Throughout the album, Steve Hartlett and Morgan Luzzi show a mastery of their instruments that's never showy but always adds emotional depth and sonic thrills to the band's songs.
Sometimes a music project can only gather its strength through unconventional means. Ovlov, the Connecticut-based fuzz-rock band of Steve Hartlett, hasn't had the most consistent run since they released their first full-length album back in 2013. There wasn't any tangible reason for him to keep Ovlov afloat in the past few years, and rather than force a return that may bring about diminishing results, he chose to gradually go on a test trial (occasional gigs, vinyl releases) to figure out if he'd assembled a format that will do the name justice.
Ovlov just weren't made for these times, though that has more to do with singer/guitarist Steve Hartlett's humble career ambitions than his 1990s indie-rock comfort-food aesthetic. At a time when once-independent musicians can resemble overworked content creators forced to feed the internet-industrial complex with a constant stream of songs and selfies, Hartlett has adhered to a policy of striking up the band only when it feels right. Since cropping up on the East Coast DIY circuit in 2009, amassing the sort of fervent cult fanbase that gets tattoos in their honor, Ovlov have had to break up a number of times in order to keep it together.