Little Big League / Ovlov – Split 7”

The internet seems to be full of articles that say all the best band names has been taken, and Ovlov aren’t doing much to challenge this theory, with their backwards written Swedish dad car moniker. Although saying that, a zombie-themed dubstep band called BAAS might be pretty cool. Regardless, a name isn’t everything in music; some decent songs can overcome just about anything – just look at Pearl Jam.

Ovlov though, seem to have been magically transported forward from around the same time as ‘Ten’ was released – ‘The Great Crocodile’ sounds about as 90s as it’s possible to get in a world of 10-second downloads and Google+. This isn’t inherently a problem of course – recycling is fun – but unfortunately the band seem to have been aiming for big, lazy sounding, fuzzy indie (think Dinosaur Jr) and have just missed the mark on what makes that great. You keep expecting the vocals to come in with a massive, soaring melody line, and make the build-up worthwhile, but it just never seems to get there. Not at all bad, but nothing special either.

Little Big League, on the other hand, hit their sonic target bang on. Writing that this is female-fronted indie rock should seem a redundant distinction – why should it be important that there is a girl singing not a guy? It’s pretty clear though, that this simply wouldn’t be the same with a lower registered lead vocal (just follow me and ignore the inherent gender stereotyping going on here). Michelle Zauner’s high pitched melodies effectively cut through the overdriven jangle of the guitars and don’t get lost in the mix; which really helps elevate these songs. Little Big League have also been careful to restrict themselves on song lengths and avoid the meandering which can ruin a great song in this genre – these two tracks together weigh in at under five minutes total. Put simply, if you like well-written guitar driven pop songs, you’ll love this.

– Matt Barnwell

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