Chicago’s own Regular Oatmeal has been playing their unique blend of emo, indie, and punk rock since 2013 and show no signs of stopping anytime soon. The power trio recently dropped the Great Shout EP for our ears to enjoy and consists of Nick Cartwright (Vocals & Guitar), James Ringness (Drums), and George Hart (Bass).
Regular Oatmeal starts the EP off right with Street Lights, a rock banger complete with fuzzy, heavy guitar and crunchy bass. Cartwright’s vocals come across on a traditional punk melody that is eerily reminiscent of Chuck Mosley’s work on We Care a Lot. The simple structure of this attacking track leaves plenty of space for Ringness and Hart to experiment with some impressive fills and the melodic breakdown adds a nice touch before the punchy closing chorus.
Storm Drains opens with a change of pace, focusing more on melodic strumming patterns than energetic down strokes. Overall, this is probably my favorite work melodically from the band, spanning the intro riff, the vocal harmonization throughout, and the breakdown; they clearly put some thought into the cohesiveness of this track. Vocally, I was extremely impressed with the high level of emotion that was captured on this performance and the final, chaotic chorus is some of the best work on this entire EP.
Spirals is an upbeat, catchy tune that will make you feel good. The bass is mixed high on this track and drives the entire thing. With some solid guitar licks and poppy backup vocals, Spirals feels like an early 90’s alternative rock song you’d hear on the radio.
House Next Door a quick hitter that will put some hair on your chest. I enjoy the emphasis on the vocals here and I think it’s an above average track in that department however, there isn’t much inventiveness and it feels like a canned emo song. That being said, the breakdown was really well constructed and leaves a lot of opportunity for live performances.
Maintenance is the album’s closer and is driven by a classic alternative, heavy rock riff that feels familiar yet fresh at the same time. Once again, the vocal harmonization is on point and these guys prove that mid-song breakdowns are their forte. The intensity towards the end of this track brings the EP to the close it deserves.
It’s very easy to see that Regular Oatmeal has a lot of fun doing what they do best: rocking hard. I am impressed with their ability to write a cohesive EP that flows nicely and plays through. They have a unique ability to transform simplistic songs using vocal harmonies and interesting breakdowns, which I admire and appreciate.
If this EP is any indication, these dudes put on an amazing show. They have an acoustic set lined up on May 24th at Teal Nebula, so be sure to swing by and support them. Also, keep an eye out for future shows by following them at the links below or on our Artist page!