Feel Alright: "Oahu Ohio"
By Maura McAndrew | 24 June 2011
The members of Feel Alright know quite a bit about the cold. Scattered over Montreal, Calgary, and Pittsburgh, not one of them claims residency in a place known for its summers. So how do they cope? By producing a swooning album of short, summery garage-pop jams. The cheekily titled “Oahu Ohio” is a standout from hahahahahahaha, released on cassette and download only via Planet of the Tapes. “Oahu Ohio” offers an early Beach Boys-style chorus paired with jangly verses which would easily be home in a Strokes cut. It’s simple, charming, and goes by in a flash.
Feel Alright would seem to be following in the footsteps of bands like Real Estate and Woods, combining garage and light psychedelia with sunshiny beach pop, but “Oahu Ohio” eschews the sometimes-sleepiness this genre promotes and adds a healthy dose of urgency. Fitting, since the song, on its two short verses, purports to be about things coming to an end. Vocalist/songwriter Craig Fahner sings, “Leaving without saying goodbye / It’s a crime / You know it’s a crime.” Bells chime in the background and the guitar chugs forward, bittersweetness all around.
“Oahu Ohio” doesn’t say much, but it captures a common summer sentiment: the inescapable feeling of a season rushing by, counting down days and trying to make it last. And as anyone from the cold north or even Pittsburgh can tell you, it doesn’t last nearly long enough.