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I’m not saying that ON is a band fixated with the past, but there is undoubtedly a lot going on in their latest single “Make Me”, which reminds me of the sounds of my formative days – any number of grunge and alternative and college rock bands spring to mind. But that’s fine; if a sound or style is good to begin with, it stands up to repeated re-imagining and further exploration, and the 90s were a golden age for such alternative and underground musical forms.
But there is just as much of the here-and-now to keep things fresh and enough of the band’s own personality to keep everything exciting and moving forward. Rock and roll may have found its perfect form decades ago; so maybe all you can do is use that as a platform and then build your own take on the sound on top of it. That way, you can benefit from the familiarity of what has gone before but also add something fresh, new, exciting, and, in the case of ON, wonderfully accessible and almost pop-aware, to the canon. A neat blend of muscle and melody.
And that is precisely what they do here. As the saying goes, if you need a musical job done correctly, get a three-piece band to do it! And if that isn’t a saying, it should be.
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