Chrissi Sepe (author of the book "Bliss, Bliss, Bliss")
"Sweeten Your Week With The Ovaltines"
"Sweeten Your Week With The Ovaltines" -- "Why Won't The World Go Away" EP Review By Chrissi Sepe
Why can't the world go away? How many times have I wished for that? That's what the song inspired by the title of The Ovaltines' new EP asks the world to do. Not to go away forever but "just for ONE day?" That would be perfect. Then once it does, "we can decide if we want to stay." Dave Schurtman of "Humans" fame and Jaime Piacente are the guy/girl duo who make up "The Ovaltines." They are a lo-fi, heavy guitar feedback band reminiscent of The Velvet Underground, Jesus and Mary Chain and Ultra Vivid Scene. But what makes The Ovaltines extra special and unique is the way Dave's velvety low voice and Jaime's pleasant sugary vocals perfectly complement each other.
The Ovaltines' EP contains four songs. The lyrics on all four songs remind me of getting through the work week. "Why Won't The World Go Away" encapsulates what it feels like to go to work from Monday through Friday. "Why Can't The World Go Away," which is Track #4, is similar to the first thing I ask myself when my alarm clock goes off on a Monday morning! It is a slow song where Dave and Jaime ask this question during the chorus. One of my favorite parts of this song is the beautiful "bell" sounds that remind me of spoons tapping on drinking glasses with the water filled at various levels to make different tones as they play out their angelic melodies. The lo-fi sound of "The Ovaltines" makes me wonder if they REALLY DID spend time filling up drinking glasses with water to play the melodies on this track! I positively would believe it!
Track #1 is called "Slow It Down." After I heard this track, I realized that The Ovaltines' album could be the soundtrack to a week of work for me! While I'm "walking down the corporate hall," as Dave sings, I really want to "slow it down so I could breathe!!!!" The lyrics continue with Dave and Jaime "trying to avoid all of mankind so slow it down." The feedback guitars sound like bells chiming in the beginning, and they continue as the voices sing the chorus: "Down down down down down, slow it down," "Down Down Down, slow it down."
Track #2 is "The Truth." It is my personal fave and is the most pop of all the tracks on the EP. It could definitely be a pop hit and is totally toe-tapping and danceable. Jaime's voice reminds me of the lead vocalists of both the "Primitives" and the "Sundays," and the tune recalls songs of the late '80's to early 90's Britpop music. There is a tambourine/jingle sound throughout, and the track ends with guitar feedback leading into a scary sample about a man claiming to be a "freak, a side-show."
The "scary sample" continues into the beginning of Track #3, as the man claims it is "50 cents to look, a dollar to touch." This song is called "Drugs In Order." After my work week of wanting the world to go away and for things to slow down (with a little reprieve in the middle where I can dance to "The Truth"), "Drugs In Order" is the perfect song to end my week! By Friday night, I'm more than ready to sit down with a glass of red wine and listen to this song as I sing along to it: "Oh the Green Hills of Freedom," yes, finally! It repeats over and over again as my muscles relax, so I can get "fuzzed out," just like the fuzzy feel of the entire album. Every Monday, from now on, I'm going to plug into my "Why Won't The World Go Away" EP so at least I can have some company while anxiously waiting for my Friday to arrive.