Are We Here?, the debut album by Las Vegas-based O’s (formerly O’s of Presidential) is a sonic assault in the best possible way. Led by guitarist and John Lennon sound-alike Evan Donoghue...O’s bounce back and forth between face-melting rock and blissed-out psychedelia, often several times in the same song.
The record is co-produced by Joe Lawless and John Fallon of the Steppes...the two Laissez Fairs bandmates revel in studio experimentation, drenching vocals with reverb and piling on effects. It never feels overdone, though — instead, the effect as fun and joyful as audio fingerpainting.
As the album progresses, the band’s influences become as clear lyrically as they are musically. It’s the kids who are all right in “Alright,” the narrator of “Under the Gun” can see for miles and miles (and miles and miles), and the girl in “Mark Twang Twung” is “like a rolling stone.” “Rollin’,” a song that’s the very definition of Beatlesque, name checks Mr. Heath and Mr. Wilson of “Taxman” and the kaleidoscope eyes of “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds.” Donoghue delivers these lyrical nods with the same sneering attitude that permeates the rest of his words — he’s the kind of singer who can even make a line like, “Gonna lick every lick of the lollipop” sound legitimately badass, and when his vocals veer off pitch, it only adds to the effect...the album benefits from repeated listens on good headphones.
-- Carey Farrell, Rebeatmag.com
, February 18, 2016