After the early 60s most Rhythm and Blues disappeared and had a mild resurgence in the surf rock craze. But California band The Okmoniks (named after Alf characters), are mixing that, party rock, garage, punk and cheap synths to make some of the best lo-fi rock music around. Fronted by married couple Helene “33” and Sam Claiborne (of IGN) the band have exploded in the California indie-scene and even been played on the reboot of 90210. Their music is fast and gritty and sounds like if Sex Bob-omb was a real band.
Their debut LP Party Fever!!! takes this sound and runs it through nine awesome songs, it’s also really the only easy recording to find by the band. The album continuous flow makes it feel like a non-stop party for the barely 20 minute run-time it has and every solo seems natural and quick. The album just comes off as completely genuine in every respect. “Hide and Seek” starts the album off racing through punk chords and surfy solos all topped by Helene’s retro sounding keyboard. Helene’s gain covered vocals come to the forefront in “I’m On My Own,” giving another cool sound to the bands already lo-fi aesthetic. “It’s Not You” keeps the music racing and has some awesome high notes for Helene.
The album gets its hit on “Teenage Timebomb” taking simple punk sounds, keyboard solos, group yelling and oooing and mixing it all together in a super addictive two minute jam. Helene comes out yelling in “Rustle Up Some Action”, the synth driven song has some weirdly syncopated verses and awwwww build up reminiscent of “Twist and Shout”. “What I Want” runs fast and then hits a strangely slow pre-chorus that brings the song back roaring. The album ends on the other stand-out song “Hey I’m Ok,” that’s awesome in its simplicity. Its group chanting is addictive, it’s fast and gritty, and it’s chanting bridge just emanates energy.
Stay tuned for my quick profile on similar surf-garage-rock band the 5678’s.