Revolver Ocelot and The Gee-Whizzbangs
Revolver Ocelot and The Gee-Whizzbangs is one of the most forefront campaigners against the Bush Administration. They are a touring folk trio, featuring noted musician and enemy of world peace, Revolver Ocelot of Metal Gear Solid on banjo and lead vocals.
The group struggled in obscurity for a number of years before achieving mainstream success with the single "Consider the Oil Spill". The song hit the number 1 spot both sides of the atlantic, although the band received numerous complaints about the content of the single's b-side, "Blood, Bath & Beyond".
The success of the song was matched by the follow-up album, "Sunshine and Seaweed". The album went gold in the first week in America, with sales high in Great Britain, Greece, France and Lithuania. Despite a mixed reception from the industry's press, it still received glowing reviews from both Rolling Stone and the NME.
The band toured extensively the following year on the back of Sunshine and Seaweed's powerful songs backed by vocals described as "brittle... yet chewy", with the group gathering an ever-growing live following. After a 3 night residency at London's Brixton Academy, guitarist Rick O'Shea told Kerrang! magazine: "It's been astounding. Over the last year we've got from playing small pub venues and folk hideouts in New York to headlining shows like this one. The crowd knew every word to every song, they were fantastic."
How could The Whizzbangs follow such a huge hit? In preparation for recording, Ocelot, O'Shea and second guitarist Kieron Richardson retreated to a small cottage in the Welsh countryside. "We just want to get away from all the press for a while," Ocelot wrote on the band's website, "away from all the crap that's been written in the States."
A mere 2 months later, the band emerged with a complete record, a new sound, and a new member- drummer Darren Fletcher. "Knee-High in Mud" was hailed universally as an exciting new direction for music by the media, and has since been listed by many musicians as a key influence. Of the 4 singles released from "Mud", 2 achieved notable success- "Acorn 2 Oak" reached no. 1 in the week prior to the album's release, while second single "Skipping Stones" was a top 4 hit worldwide and was subsequently sampled by hip-hop artist Speshul-KA in his chart-topping release "Stop Me Soon".
After another huge world tour, the band took a month out, before playing a series of summer festivals, including a headling slot at Coachella.
The sixth studio album, "The World Is One" showed obvious influence of both the Brit-Pop era, and progressive rock. The 14-track LP featured recurring themes, set mostly around intolerance and racial distrust, culminating with the 12 minute epic "So Many People", in which the band bring together all the album's themes, and encourages listeners to consider their attitudes and challenge themsleves to be better people.
The band are currently recording their 8th studio album. A live album is planned for the coming year.
|Have You Heard The News?||Debut album, released on an indie label; achieved little commercially.|
|Secret House||Signs of the group's distinctive sound forming. Commercial failure untill after the release of later albums. Includes live favourite "Mother of Pearl".|
|Sunshine and Seaweed||Breakthrough album. Includes the single "Consider the Oil Spill".|
|Knee-High in Mud||The band's most successful record to date. Includes "Acorn 2 Oak" and "Skipping Stones".|
|Choices, Choices||Mixed critical reception. Includes "Keep Up the Day Job", the first song to feature guitarist Rick O'Shea on lead vocals.|
|The World Is One||The band build a surprisingly effective concept album following themes of oppression, discrimination, and uncertainty.|
|Matchbox Lightning||Features single "Snowball Effect", the band's first no. 1 single since "Skipping Stones"|