The Merging

01. Faith
02. Fine
03. Radio
04. Here We Go Again
05. Just One Day
06. Let It Roll
07. Don't Ask Why
08. Falling Angels
09. Can't Stand
10. The Merging
11. Living For
12. My Innocence
13. Goodbye
14. The Truth
15. Let Yourself Go

Sebastian (Vocals & Guitars)
Marcus (Bass & Vocals)
Jens (Guitars & Vocals)
Dirk (Keyboard & Vocals)
Sascha (Drums)

Moon (1996)
Flood (1998)
Colleen (EP 1998)
Born (1999)
Myopic (2000)
Sucking Turns (MCD 2001)
Heroes (MCD 2001)
Massive ØL (2002)
ØL 1+2 (2003)
No Disco (2004)
How to be Yourself? (2005)
The Victim (2005)
My Own Prison (2006)
RMXS (2006)
Between the Lines (2007)
Rare Things - From Then til Now (1998-2007) (2008)



Released 8/10-2010
Reviewed 4/4-2011

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Origining from Germany in a prehistoric time when people though the oil would last forever, ØL (or Oel) maybe should consider changing their name now when "experts" have decided oil is the mortal enemy and cause of everything that's bad on this planet (since ØL is Öle spelled differently, which is the name of oil in German). So to avoid being related to everything that's evil in this world and to be opposed in every way possible that might be a good idea! LOL!

Some people may have an opinion about me reviewing an album that was released in october as late as in April. However, I just got access to ØLs album and as a band that has had a lot of problems reaching outside their home country Germany, I'm sure they and most of you probably apprechiate a review coming late than not at all. Right?

ØL released their debut as early as 1996, called 'Moon' (probably called that to celibrate the new celestial body circuling the Earth) and since then they've been very active with their releases. Just look at the long list of releases here on the left and as they say them selves - they are not trying to be young and hip. Their target is to play the music they love and in the tempo they release their albums, I think it's quite strange they haven't had a bigger break outside Germany (or even in their home country). In 13 years this band released 11 full lenght albums (and 2 with reworked old material), plus three EPs or MCDs and a bunch of singles from all these releases. But since 2007 we haven't seen new material from this band, that was until 'The Merging' was released last fall and I wonder if the reason for the recess might be that ØL wanted to make their best album and spent countless numbers on making it perfect? Well, that's what I'm here to find out.

The album begins really well with the song Faith and den peaks with the second song, the single Fine which is really, really good! The fact is I'd like to call it so good that it's almost rude or inpolite and it sets a standard that's incredibly high and difficult to live up to after that. None of the thirteen songs following the song isn't even close to triumph it and if we look at the package ØL comes in, I don't really feel it's appropriate that it was them that did the song. The covers from this band looks really amateurish with pictures that looks like they were made in Microsoft Paint. The cover to 'The Merging' is by far the best loooking and also that looks pretty cheap. The production sound clanky and low-budget and the musicans in the band isn't really the greatest musicans in the world, but no one has said they were either. They feel like a punk-rocky band that keeps things simple, fun and serious to a healthy extent.

The third and fourth song is somewhat of transportation to the second peak of the album, which comes in form of the toned down potential rock hit Just One Day. A really good song, followed by the almost pop-single-sounding Let it Roll and the great ballad Don't Ask Why. Or... not so great it shows, because with 1.20 left of the song, the band completely lose their mind and starts laughing uncrontolled like some sort of mental patient and gasping for breath. That sort of set the standard for the following last seven songs, because they don't really have any more good songs after that. However, there are a few decent ones even though most of the rest are mediocre at best.

Overall I'd call this a pretty simple rock album. Resourceful and fun because it turns in moods and songs going here and there with music of many characteristics. But they are written and played simple and simply produced. No complicated melodies or orchestral arrangements or strange tempo changes in the middle of the songs- They are just songs, straight and simple like a rock album should be. Some songs are good, some even really good, but it really doesn't feel like an album that the band has spent countless of hours working on and making it perfect. It's raw and uncomplicated, unpolished and straight to the point. Like a go cart. Just turn the engine on and drive. And I really like albums like this. But what I don't like is a playing time like the one on this album, because the 15 tracks and hour in playing time makes this album as long as the Transiberian railroad. And personally I'd find that a bit too long to drive with a go cart. If you're about to take a journey that far, at least I would like something a bit more sophisticated to make the journey with.


Label - Art Development Productions/Connecting Music
Three similar bands - Märvel/Millencollin/The Hellacopters
Reviewer: Caj Källmalm