“…it makes the depressing danceable.” - DIY
Boisterous dance-punk trio Oh800 get your legs moving with the release of their debut album Character Building, out now via Infinite Jest Records.
The album’s nine tracks are a whip-smart take on modern malaise that is at turns upbeat and funny, sensitive and odd. The band describe it as “a sardonic observation on self-doubt, crap jobs, lame excuses and being a bit of a space cadet”. Kicking off with title track Character Building, the album’s infectious dance-punk sensibilities are apparent from the offset. Filled with clunking cowbells, pulsating beats and bright, jangling guitars, frontman Eoin Rooney’s rages against the nonsense idea that people should work for free if they really want to get somewhere. Previous single Shoulda Known It has a similar disco-punk vibe, with spiky guitars cutting through the thick, smokey basement party-haze like its life depended on it. The marching, widescreen post punk of Melanin, I Want You Around and Weird Dial are caustic yet tongue-in-cheek tirades against modern life, while Mission to Mars and Palindrome showcase the band’s more reflective side.
Oh800 feature former members of The Duke Spirit, Oh Ruin and Memory Maze, each a music fanatic in their own right. Long-time pals Eoin Rooney (vocals, guitar), Gavin Ellis (bass, synth) and Olly Betts (drums) bonded over a shared love of decayed early 80s New York underground - think CBGBs, ESG, 99 Records. The album fizzes with intense yet witty existential energy, bound together by razor sharp guitars, a funked-up rhythm section and infectious glitchy electronica. The band recorded and mixed the album themselves in their London studio, with the exception of 2 tracks mixed by James Ford (Simian Mobile Disco, Arctic Monkeys, Foals) and 2 tracks mixed by Neil Comber (MIA, Django Django).
Oh800 started making noise together in 2016 with the aim of “making music to move to” and released Shoulda Known It last year, which found its way onto numerous Spotify compilations and now has over 750k plays. Since then, Oh800 have received praise from the likes of BBC 6Music’s Steve Lamacq and BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens, as well as Clash, DIY, The Line of Best Fit and With Guitars to name but a few. With Character Building, the band intend to captivate listeners further with their unique blend of ranting, spacey post-punk.
Character Building is out now via Infinite Jest Records.