[sic] Magazine

Oskar’s Drum: – A Cathedral Of Hands

Reviewed by Steven L. Minurka

The two-piece music project of Patrick Fitzgerald (Stephen Hero, Kitchens Of Distinction) and Yves Altana (Invincible, Wonky Alice, ChameleonsVox) showcases a distinct offering of sound that is both reminiscent of their previous work in their previous bands, but also ambitious enough to play with a sound that feels both organic and almost bizarre. I say ‘almost’ because this is still music at the end of the day, and that is most certainly a good thing for those who are looking forward to this release. ‘Green-Veiled Mirror Ghost’ serves as a fine, dreamy, almost inviting opener. This brings the second track ‘Infernal’ into more intimidating territory in contrast, but certainly maintaining this atmospheric tone that remains present throughout the album. Followed by the potent and progressive ‘Quartz,’ probably where the production really shines. Odd lyrics that give reminders of R.E.M. and more inevitably, Patrick Fitzgerald’s prior band, Kitchens Of Distinction. The fourth track ‘In Water’ is rather blissful, repetitive with ‘the world is deep, let’s bathe in it.’ It’s calm, and the title in question feels appropriate. ‘Blackouts’ on the other hand brings out the art oddness with this album. ‘Blood and sperm and spittle’ feels tongue-in cheek with this track’s consistent rhyming, alongside the playful groove throughout.

‘The Last Time I Saw Roger’ introduces a slower-paced, somber and not-so-serious track. I don’t think seriousness is a major element on this album. I have to again mention ‘atmospheric’ in regards to the tone and lyrical quirkiness. This albums feels very deep, albeit without the necessity in being taken seriously. ‘Arms Of The Dark’ revisits the oddness if one likes to focus on lyrics. It could be the growing insanity in me, but it makes me think that this album is trying to convey a concept of fantasy elements heard throughout softly sung vocals, all the while supported by the beautifully performed instrumentals.

‘Porcelain’ is a fair track, although the rhythm of the lyrics may be unappealing to some. Especially to those who love rhythmic tones for everything. The present lyrical inconsistency might give way to thinking about each track independently from A Cathedral Of Hands just being an album, but when considering the flow of the album altogether, it feels almost disjointed. I happen to love the ninth track ‘Shadowlight.’ Personally, I think it’s the most ideal track on here – I fell in love with the bass when it hits. The almost-eerie sound really shines on this track, supported by the vocals and smooth drumming.

The final track ‘Floating’ is a slow-paced, conscious closer. Probably the most seriously toned – considering the theme of unease, stress, and morbidity. This ten-track piece of work is an intriguing release that deserves a listen. Not only from the merits of Fitzgerald and Altana, but the effort behind this album is more than solid enough to warrant it.

A Cathedral Of Hands is out now.