In 2011, a friend took me to see Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real at McCain Auditorium. A local band opened for them by the name of Quiet Corral. I was impressed. Everyone in the band was multi-talented, playing two, three, or even four instruments during their short set, and, to cap it off, they had a pretty epic display of percussion. But after releasing an album in 2013 and an extensive tour, frontman Jesse Roberts left the band. And so Hembree was born of the remaining members. It took time to “transition” into this new band, but it appears to have been time well spent. New Oasis was released in January, and while it is still reminiscent of Quiet Corral’s material, it dips slightly more into a country music sound, which could be attributed to the change in vocals. It’s darker and more reflective than their previous endeavors, yet flirts with a new flavor of 80s synth-pop that shows itself on “Subtle Step,” in an odd, but still fitting “Toto” kind of way. The base drum continues to thump strongly and there’s plenty of interjectional harmonizing of classic Quiet Corral past, most notably on “October.”
It might seem unfair to compare Hembree to Quiet Corral, but the overall sound hasn’t significantly changed, making it easy to forget who you’re listening to. New Oasis leans away from acoustic and more towards electric, with that interesting 80s snyth-pop feel poking up throughout. For their first E.P. release, it’s enough to pique interest of what’s to come.
By: Nick Fief