EP Review: Oscar Lang – Antidote to Being Bored

Friday, December 11, 2020


Photo by Lewis Evans

It’s been quite the year for London-based multi-instrumentalist and Dirty Hit signee Oscar Lang — over the last ten months, the world has spun out of control, remarkably, Lang has found himself creating consistently during these months of uncertainty. In our interview with him back in April, he hinted that he had a lot of music on the way this year and he wasn’t kidding. After he released his musing EP Overthunk back in March, he’s come through with two more EPs — his psychedelic-infused project Hand Over Your Head in September, and more recently, his full throttle five-track offering Antidote to Being Bored

The new EP, Antidote to Being Bored, showcases a different side to Lang that we haven’t yet encountered — whilst his previous offerings gave us contemplative lyrics and introspective alt-rock,  Antidote to Being Bored eludes 90s Britpop assertiveness and a certain type of swagger that bands from that time had. He’s ready to rage and he wants to take us all along with him. Lang’s music has always been innovative and enthralling, but the EP sees him take his experimental approach to creating music to a whole other level, proving he really can do it all. 

The title-track, which opens up the EP, is utterly electrifying. In a statement he said that his intention with the track was to create an “absolute blow the roof off stadium rock banger”, and he does this and so much more. The mega-opener sees him set the bedroom-rock sound people might have associated with him previously alight. Pure madness from start-to-finish, it’s the type of song that’s designed for sweaty mosh pits and unruly live shows — if you forgot what that felt like, ‘Antidote to Being Bored’ will take you back. 

‘Pretty Princess’ is another riotous number that fuses a type of Britpop-style confidence with sudden spurts of chaos in-between. There’s also ‘That Wasn’t What I Said’, which is a tad more subdued than the title-track and ‘Pretty Princess’, but equally as impressive. It’s important to note that the song sees him embrace his inner self-reflective songwriter that’s evident on previous projects, but he seems much more assertive — if any track shows off his growth as a songwriter between his EPs, it’s ‘That Wasn’t What I Said’. 

Instead of giving us a frenzied EP for five tracks, which would have probably been too much, he mixes it up with the concluding two tracks. Though these tracks are much more subtle, they still both fit into the mix — resulting in an all-rounded and carefully curated project. ‘Red Cherry Lipstick’ sees him reflect on feelings of inner-turmoil. The words “It’s getting harder to take it so we sit back and watch it burn,” might relate to a deteriorating relationship but also life in general. The EP’s closer ‘Something Has Changed’ gives listeners a taste of the bedroom-rock sound you might hear from Lang’s previous EPs, particularly Overthunk, but once again, he presents something different from what he’s done before. 

Oscar Lang has never been afraid of experimenting with styles and sounds outside of his comfort zone and Antidote to Being Bored is a testament to his continued growth. He consistently puts the work in, and on the current trajectory he’s on, don’t be surprised when everyone is talking about him within the next year. 

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

Listen to Antidote to Being Bored:

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