After what seems like a lifetime of anodyne Saturday night television, you get the idea that there is no originality left in the world of music. Fame, of course, has its on rewards leaving you safe in the knowledge that everybody in the world knows what brand of underpants your wear (or don't wear as the case might be) but nobody can remember your last song. Producing an album that is memorable is therefore all the more creditable and Hijak Oscar have done just that with "BlackSheepMoneyBox".
From the faux interludes stolen from the mighty God of television that introduce the songs on this album to the mighty swagger of the songs themselves, it is easy to work out that Hijak Oscar are a band following their own path. It's a path that leads back to sixties British r&b, weaves through the mythical forests previously explored in the glory days of folk before absorbing the mighty power of rock. Tim Fox's growling vocals often reach out to Screaming Jay Hawkins for inspiration but this is much more than a homage to the past.
Barebones, hardcore, harmonica driven blues like "Devil on My Shoulder" put your speakers in danger such is the energy behind them. It's not all like that however. "Child" is a much more delicate song that would easily find a home on the set list for a folk rock band. Nonetheless, this is a team effort and you can sense that it is the collaboration between all the band members that gives these songs that special lift. Especially Gaby Milner's voice. Oh God, yes!
"BlackSheepMoneyBox" is a rewarding album. So say goodbye to indie rock, angst ridden singer songwriters and tired rehashes of yesterday's hits by fame seekers and enjoy the true living spirit of British music that can be found in these songs.