We got wind a little less than a month ago that Bay Area genre-mashers Oxbow would be returning this spring with Thin Black Duke, their first album in a decade. Today we get our first taste of the LP. As with most Oxbow songs, “Cold & Well-Lit Place” contains multitudes. The song opens with a post-punk whistle melody that gives way, or rather is set aflame in distortion, by a hard rock guitar riff. Vocalist Eugene S. Robinson alternates between a moody, detached whisper and a yearning howl, before introducing a gruff roar in the back-half. He’s backed in his tonal shifts by crescendoing string motifs and guitars unafraid to spontaneously nosedive into the sludge. Oxbow continue to construct singular anthems by interpolating familiar aspects from a wide net of influences, and it’s great to have them back. Watch the song’s unsettling semi-performance video below.
Thin Black Duke is out 5/5 via Hydra Head.