May 30, 2014

Dead Mechanical’s visual trajectory over three albums is making me consider OK Nightas the third part of a trilogy, although it may just be a cluster with more to come. Their first album, Medium Noisefeatures man without two-thirds of a face on the front and a photo of a weathered thrift store window filled with shoes and a framed picture of Baltimore Colts quarterback Johnny Unitas. Invisibility. Location. Found objects. Reaction. Their second album, Rhythm Addicts is pure font—tracking, kerning, leading, proportion—letters manipulated in graphic design. Control. Detail. Manipulation of basic building blocks for reevaluation and reinterpretation. OK Night’s artwork is all hand-rendered and handwritten; pastelly mountain with triangles and shapes implying buildings. Softer. Personal without explicit personal narrative. The more frequent use of “You” vs. the use of “Them.” Wobbly. Fanciful. Anecdotal. For anthems, I reach for Addict Rhythms. For short stories, I reach for Medium Noise. Curiously, OK Night fits in the middle. It’s less instantly hooky, but it has that hypnotic, crunchy shimmer and sway of bands like Seaweed and Superchunk. It’s more one-on-one. More artful, but not in a shitty way that serves as a divorce from their earlier, more explicit material. Totally worth soaking in. Dismiss as pop punk at the risk of overlooking an excellent band. 

 –todd (