Up

by OHO

Released 2003
Oho Music
Released 2003
Oho Music
"OHO sounds like Jefferson Airplane landing on top of (Gabriel-era) Genesis and then taking a time machine ride with Fairport Convention to play at H.G. Wells' birthday party." -Jeff Lindholm (Dirty Linen #103)
NOTES
OHO: an artistic collective of musicians and artists based in the Baltimore, MD area who interweave sophisticated songwriting, slashing lava-like guitarism, and muscular rhythms with stunning female vocals, lush production, and state-of-the-art basement technology. The ensemble has existed since 1973. Nowadays, 35 years and two radical transformations later, they are a little more settled with an acid folk underpinning and a womanly presence from the keyboards and vocals of Jane Brody, Angela Lazaroni, Elise Major, and the warbling of Grace Hearn, Mary O'Connor, Sue Ellen Sacco, and most recently Kelly G and Liz Murphy, not to mention significant contributions from a couple dozen OTHER PEOPLE. OHO offers rare proof that the unforgiving dragon of rock, with its voracious appetite for youth and novelty, can be slain by silver throats, silver hair and/or a bald pate. OHO have released a new (03/2008) 2 disc CD/DVD digipak entitled "Bricolage." It is NOW available at CD Baby. Both albums are being offered at bargain prices and are guaranteed to urge your spirit to soar from "over here to over there."

"We (REM) decided that just 'UP' was the way to go. We hope in the future that all other bands will also adopt this title in a showing of solidarity." -Peter Buck

"On this collection of songs from the past 18 years, OHO sounds like Jefferson Airplane landing on top of Genesis and then taking a time machine ride with Fairport Convention to play H.G. Wells' birthday party. The lyrics, in the best prog tradition, are dense and, like the music, definitely swirly."
-Jeff Lindholm (Dirty Linen #106)

"Best known for their work in the 70s, especially the quirky, psychedelic masterpiece 'Okinawa' and the more overtly progressive 'Vitamin OHO,' both of which have seen re-release on vinyl in recent years, we've also seen archival CD releases from that period as well, like 'Ecce OHO' and 'Recollections.' But OHO soldiered on through the 80s and sporadically through the 90s and in fact is still intermittently going to this day. As one might imagine, the years have brought changes, and for the period covered by this release (1985-2002) OHO was a trio with various other musicians revolving through the lineup, fronted by a succession of female singers. The disc starts off with 3 tracks of recent vintage with vocalist Jane Brody at the fore. These have a very pleasing sort of west-coast psychedelic sound with jangly guitars (think the Vejtables or early Airplane) mixed with some Celtic/folky elements, all updated with a modern sounding production; opener 'Shouts In the Street' and follow-up 'The Secret' are positively contagious. From there we go back further in time with Grace Hearn--who occasionally sounds a bit like Stevie Nicks; songs here are a bit more earthy, many having a less acoustic, more produced pop character. Many gems here as well, but the overtly psychedelic and 'live' closer 'Dream Lifted Up' is a standout. Fans of finely crafted female fronted pop will surely enjoy 'UP.' -Peter Thelen, (Expose #29)

"OHO's music makes you want to exclaim the band's very name! This is intelligent power pop for the new millennium. Truly innovative, their sound is energetic, 'BIG,' produced (without being overly so) and professional, having elements of pop, folk, jazz, celtic and rock (and all with an alternative twist). David Reeve's rhythms are alternately flowing and funky, and are set beneath daring and creative melodies, excellent instrumentation and fantastic female vocalisation, ideally suited for OHO's tendency to employ minor chords. Even with their dark and sometimes spooky sound, the feeling is upbeat. There are also sparkling guitars (ala Lindsey Buckingham), Steve Carr's grumbling bass (some of the best ever) and J. Graboski's thoughtful lyrics. As produced as this CD appears to be, the soul remains intact. 'UP' is an excellent CD and 'Where Have You Been?' is one of my favorite songs on it. It's as if the band members and 29 guest artists have put themselves fully into this project and have given themselves away. OHO!!!"
-Les Reynolds, Indie-Music.com

"OHO's music maneuvers, folds and turns on itself exactly where it should...fascinating!" -Music Connection

"A romantic, lushly harmonic collection having a wary acid-folk edginess and unpredictable lyrics. One of the best things about the OHO recordings is how good they sound...every element in their intricate arrangements shines." -The Washington Post

"Melodic and thoughtful power pop on this Maryland quintet's debut."
-CD Review (Editors' choice favorite selection)

"Generating an irresistible urge to dance and sing, this CD is a tight mesh of modern, melodic, crisp grooves with vocals that are clear, strong and seamless, amazing guitar work, and songs that are contagious." -University Reporter

"A brightly melodic collection of 19 impeccably played tracks with five supremely emotive female singers. Man, this stuff is FUN! 'Shouts In the Street' and 'Long To Be Latin' are so infectious you want to play them repeatedly. No one I've encountered in my years of doing PROGRESSION exemplifies the indomitable spirit of progressive music any better than Jay Graboski and his band,OHO." -John Collinge, Progession Magazine

"OHO have the measurable parameters of success with stellar, unwavering female vocals, Steve Carr's crystalline production of the material, David Reeve's muscular rhythms and Jay Graboski's assiduous imagination. The confidence of their presentation kept my attention reeling. Their music had reached that zone of objectively fine quality. It was as if I was doing MYSELF a favor by listening." Le Marquis de Rhythm, -Rhythm

"This isn't resurrection, but rebirth, with new songs, a new sound, a new approach. Bright and tuneful, the selections here arrive right on time, hitting the basics of contemporary pop, but adding just enough of a twist to grab your attention and hold it. OHO sneaks around the musical conventions that have mummified so many others, unleashing sliders where you'd expect curve balls, fastballs where you'd expect change-ups. OHO sneaks around the conventions that have mummified so many others. For OHO the time is NOW!" -J.D. Considine

"An imaginative exploration of affecting acoustic guitars, head-expanding lyricism blending with hi-tech bravado, and a liberal dose of some of the brightest vocal harmonies your ears will ever absorb. THERE IS JOY IN NEARLY EVERY GROOVE. A fine testament to a band in which to clearly believe." -Maryland Musician

"The men and women of OHO have been creating outstanding progressive rock on and off in a career spanning 30 years, and while the lineup of musicians may change, the musical quality and talent of the band remain the same. With 'UP' OHO proves again that it can produce vocal-driven folk rock while still delivering the musical goods that have led to their long and successful career."-Greg Yost, Music Monthly

"The OHO CD? It's fast. I dig it!!!" -Sahffi (Baltimore Songwriter's Association)

"Jay, you are my musical hero!" -Paul Rieger (United States of Existence)

"David later told The Baltimore Sunpapers, 'It’s a fear of flying thing. All of a sudden you have to adjust to a major shift in your lifestyle.' We had all the things every band wants: talent, stellar songwriting, a great manager, a competent entertainment attorney, a bass player who owned his own recording studio, a tour in the planning and a promising record deal (with even an $8,000 advance + the manufacture, distribution and promotion of 6,000 CD's, LP's and cassettes). Our music was getting played on many college and some commercial radio stations ("Out of Thin Air" was #1 in Juneau, AK), according to the Sky Records' airplay reports and BMI royalty checks. Our record also received many glowing reviews (being included as an 'Editors' Choice' among the top 100 CD's of 1990--between Peter Gabriel & Rachmaninoff--in CD Review magazine."...Yet there still might be a number of ways we can eff this up, but only after we dispense with any and all consideration for our record company, our manager, our attorney, our fans and especially the other band members, their sacrifices, work, monetary investment and the 5 years of TIME it took the team to get to this watershed. & if one of these subterfuges doesn't knock over this unwieldy "soda machine," then let's try another, then another in succession...or maybe apply a combination of both active AND passive aggressions, some severe dysfunction layered on top of some inappropriate behavior, toss in just the right amount of abuse and neglect around the perimeters to keep the destruction contained, make sure we pretend this is not going on, don't communicate, identify a scapegoat; then deliver everything together & repeatedly, in a 1-2, left-right series of devastating punches until this beast is subdued for at least 25 years--and that milestone will arrive in the Fall of 2015). I am thinking of a (4 letter, actually 5 in the plural) word to accurately describe the "perps" but this word may be insufficient, as they then lacked the requisite depth and charm for it to totally apply. If you're not ready for the genie, then don't rub the lamp.


"OHO indeed!" -Baltimore City Paper