Ollie Taylor – Little Drummer Boy
New solo material from TOG drummer
This is the debut solo album from The October Game’s drummer Ollie Taylor, ‘Little Drummer Boy’, to be released on October 29th via Scylla Records. Showcasing a different side to Ollie’s musical tastes, whilst at the same time not a million miles away from TOG at certain points, this material is much more poppier and also proves he has a strong voice of his own. It must also be noted that, with the exception of one guest appearance, Ollie wrote, performed and produced this entire album solely.
2. This Is Love
4. Remember This
5. Deep Down
8. The Eyes That Follow
9. The Pyscho
10. No More Hiding
Starting off with the instrumental intro ‘Love’, before lead EP track ‘This Is Love’ comes in, Ollie wastes little time in demonstrating that he has a knack for writing well-produced tunes that are worthy of repeated listens. ‘Stare’ features the most electric guitar use out of all the tracks here, provided by Anoop Masih, the only guest musician on the entire album. The album’s lead single track ‘Remember This’ follows, and manages to capture everything that’s good about this album in one song. ‘Deep Down’ is carried along by frantic electronic beats and bass with understated vocals, whilst ‘Anymore’ is a lamentation of things lost that I’m sure would speak to many people, with an almost ‘Crockett’s Theme’-like vibe to it. ‘Wrapped’ and ‘The Eyes That Followed’ could easily appeal to fans of Michael Jackson’s soul-leaning ballads of the 80s/early 90s, whilst ‘The Psycho’ follows in a similar style but injects a drum’n’bass break. ‘No More Hiding’ is a mostly acoustic guitar-led ballad with a message of devotion. Closing track ‘Phoenix’ is a haunting instrumental, a piece that works well without vocals, very reminiscent of Massive Attack at their best and a great way to end.
My only real (tiny) complaint here is that I wish the tracks ‘The Eyes That Followed’ and ‘The Psycho’ were a little longer! That said, they do appear to be two halves/chapters of the same song, with nice melodies and soulful vocals. Much like the rest of the material featured here, they do leave you with enough reason for not only wanting to come back for repeated listens, but also for watching out for future solo material.
An interesting blend of pop and electronic, incorporating strings and even dashes of soul in places, Ollie has produced an album that’s engaging and easy to listen to, much less rockier/progressively-minded than The October Game but no less interesting – it still has that multi-dimensional sound that TOG has.
A great start then for Ollie’s solo work. A chilled but confident album, introspective but never self-pitying, ‘Little Drummer Boy’ is worth checking out.
For fans of: The October Game, David Gray, Massive Attack, Paul Hardcastle, Gotye
Little Drummer Boy is available for preorder from Scylla Records website, on limited edition CD and digital download – http://www.scyllarecords.com/blog/?p=160
http://scyllarecords.bandcamp.com/album/this-is-love-ep – The EP, featuring two bonus remixes for just 99p.