A review of Zack Oakley’s “Badlands” album release.
Zack Oakley is a San Diego-based psychedelic, prog rock musician. His debut album “Badlands” is his southern California opus. A descriptive and ominous homage to the place he lives. It’s kind of apocalyptic, understandably given our present predicament. But, there’s a deeply retrospective vibe. This could be just as relevant to the 60s or the 70s or any era in California. It’s always bust or boom isn’t it? The prequel to a disaster of pandemic proportions.
Zack Oakley has been honing his masterly rock skills in bands for the past 10 years -JOY, Pharlee, both local to California.
This LSD trip of an album is built around a California alter ego, all sunburn and isolation, the dual nature of the California dream and nightmare. Vivid highs and aching lows. Scattered highways of reverb and arching riffs of desolate beauty.
Musically, it’s pretty intense and unrelenting, but in a good way. If you like music as a wall, intricately wrought, pulsing and unforgiving, then Zack Oakley’s “Badlands” is for you.
It’s a cinematic overwhelming diorama filled with gorgeous dirty west coast guitars and inescapable bluesy gloom. I kind of love it…
Listen to already-released singles “Acid Rain”and”Fever”on Spotify.
Label: Kommune Records / Independent
Musicians/Instruments: Zack Oakley – Gtr, Vox / Kyre Wilcox – Bass / Matt Oakley – Drums
Producer: Zack Oakley