Brian Olive is a Cancer and was raised in Bright Indiana. His early musical years were spent alongside rust belt rhythm and blues makers The Greenhornes and Soledad Brothers. I am mentioning these facts merely in a “biography pre-requisite” fashion, because knowing these things about Brian Olive tells you nothing about where his latest (and second solo) album, Two Of Everything, is coming from. Well, except for the part about being a Cancer. Two Of Everything is that very rare thing that we all look for in records but rarely find, an individual statement made by a fiercely independent artist with a unique worldview who possesses the wealth of talent and drive it takes to realize that vision. This record belongs in no time or place, but is both the Cosmic Slop and Big Bang of Brian Olive’s mind and soul. Listeners will hear a litany of musical touchstones here (for starters… Night Tripper era Dr. John, Exuma, early Funkadelic, Canned Heat, West Coast pysch, Lee Dorsey’s Yes We Can, Tribe Records, etc, etc, etc…) but what filters out is completely Olive’s own. And the end result is an insanely dynamic soulful psychedelically rich summer album perfect for intergalactic flight, night visions, or voodoo rituals.
Recorded and Produced by both Olive and Dan Auerbach at The Diamonds in Cincinnati and Easy Eye Sound in Nashville, T.O.E. features a revolving cast of talent including long time right hand man behind the throne Mike Weinel, Detroit psychedelic caveman David Shettler, Daniel Allaire, Jared McKinney and a chorus of real live angels and witches on backing vocals.
Musically the emphasis here is on groove, which never looses site of the song’s bigger pictures. The rhythm tracks never merely hold the songs down but are rather an integral part of their tapestry. A variety of percussion rubs up against fuzzy synthesizers, hip hop bass lines, new Orleans second line snares, wailing voices, brass lines and flutes; sometimes all in one song. Maybe the most important component is Olive’s rich and varied dream soaked voice that guides listeners through this trip of mind fields, stars, and heavens.
There’s not many artists out there these days pushing things forward and doing so with such great songs and clarity of sound vision. Olive’s Two Of Everything is a direct hit to mundane re-treads of any of today’s musical genres. Get in line and go to school.