Nothing compares to that moment, that energizing split second when you are blindsided by something completely thrilling and unexpected, a feeling shared when hearing the Lindsey O’Brien Band for the first time. After bouncing between her hometown of Chicago and the northern Colorado music scene, Lindsey O’Brien cracked the exoskeleton of traditional singer-songwriter expectations and began assembling and playing with the big bottomed and knee-deep ensemble that is the Lindsey O’Brien Band. The talent and chemistry of LOB shines brightly through their musical mastery and confident stage presence. Their big sound doesn’t just meld rock, pop and soul, they superglue it with Lindsey O’Brien’s powerhouse vocals that will stop you dead in your tracks, Ben Hockett and Pete Knudson throwing down as-funky-as-you-can-handle grooves, P-Mann’s incredibly versatile and soulful guitar licks, and Dave Clapsaddle and Chris Nicholas creating a boogaloo and jazz-tinged horn section. Consistently intricate and emotional, yet undeniably muscular, LOB casts a wonderfully wide net: their uber-edgy one-two punch of "Baby Mercy" sounds like Zeppelin’s take on Janis Joplin, while the slinky "You Were Watching Me" could be the hippest musical collage since Lauryn Hill’s “miseducation”. The Lindsey O’Brien Band is as startlingly versatile and cohesive a band that has come along in the music scene in years.
CD REVIEW SCENE MAGAZINE November 2008
This first thing that grabs you about As Long as it Matters is Lindsey O’Brien’s bright, expressive voice. Which isn’t to say that the band’s skill at blending horns into rock arrangements or the warm, inviting sound each song possesses should be overlooked. They certainly shouldn’t, as they give the listener a direct path into the heart of what the band’s about. However, the uniqueness and vibrancy of O’Brien’s vocals just hit the ear right.
Sweet but not sugary, there’s a piquant, bluesy undertone in her voice that tempers the bright spots with just enough reality to tell you that she’s been both the wistful lover and the woman throwing her ex’s things into the street. She’s strong and fun-loving, but occasionally works at cross purposes to herself, as we all do. And because that hint of heartbreak is always there, the music can be enjoyably upbeat without seeming fake.
Most rock bands with horns take turns playing riffs, locked into a rote call-and-response where the guitars and the brass rarely play together as a unified band. Thankfully the arrangements on As Long as it Matters avoid this, instead bringing all the instruments together, and using their expanded sonic palette to provide a rock record with some fresh sounds. They have the want to bring in traces of reggae, Americana and blues, coupled with the musical means to do it, and with O’Brien at the helm, it makes As Long as it Matters a highly enjoyable album.