February 3, 2017

Split: Oxblood / Cabbage

Oxblood and Cabbage come together for a stellar split despite their sonic differences.

I’ve got the whole house to myself for the first time in a long time. My housemate's out of town and all of my friends are away, leaving me with no distractions. I expect to be immediately filled with energy, like, what am I able to create now that no one’s pulling at my arm, nagging me to hang out? Realistically it doesn’t come, and of course it doesn’t. Instead, I come home and realize that I’m fully alone. I immediately retreat to my room and close the door. It’s so quiet and no one’s here to fill the deafening sounds of my self-doubt – I need to get away from the loudness of my own presence. So I put on the new Cabbage and Oxblood split. It fills my quiet – bringing in the walls of my bedroom, pulling them into one another; as close as they can be without touching. Oxblood and Cabbage sing for the world spinning in my head so I don’t have to do it for myself. It’s incredibly comforting in the midst of this big empty house.

Oxblood starts the split off softly. Electric guitar eases in gently, accompanied by a quiet drumbeat; reassuring like a heart’s rhythm. These sounds are laid out thinly beneath Oxblood’s vocalist, Aimee. Words drift out Aimee’s mouth as she lyrically dwells on her own inhabitancy – she tunes in on herself as she moves between the people around her, thinking about how she knows them, and how they know her. In "Coffin," this comes in the form of a lie-in-bed love song: “We could do nothing for eternity / Melt our bones together, creating porcelain,” In "Druzy", she poses her connections in the form of a question; she’s drifting alongside a dawdling guitar riff when she asks: “When you look at the moon / do you think of me?” These words are drawn out slowly, as she reflects on moments of connection between her and the surrounding people. These feelings continue to bleed into Cabbage’s side of the split, bringing both bands – despite their sonic differences – closer together.

Cabbage’s jagged sound is completely different than Oxblood’s softness. Against Oxblood’s fragility, Cabbage brings in fuzzy guitars, pushed against a tough beat; quick and crashing. Whilst Cabbage might not be serving straight up love songs, they follow in Oxblood's footsteps on what it means to know people; tuning in on interactions. In "Right," we hear this as we listen to an argument between two: “Your hands on the steering wheel / My hands are wringing in my lap / I think you’re right, I think you’re right.” The split finishes with "Faster," in which Cabbage pose us with the question: “Can I look you in the face and say that it’s not working?” Each side of the split ends in a question, both very different, yet still very much the same. It’s these connections that bring Oxblood and Cabbage together so seamlessly, despite the differences that bound between them. I’m lying in my big empty bedroom, with Oxblood on one wall and Cabbage on the other. Their divergences spring between them, yet they’re still surprisingly so close together. Between them both, my quiet feels less daunting. So until my housemate comes home, I’ll be safe in here – closed in between Oxblood and Cabbage.


Listen to Oxblood and Cabbage on bandcamp.

Madalyn Trewin, a scrawny Australian with way too much time on her hands, endlessly staring up at the sky. She likes to pull words out of the air and put them back together as well as she can. So, most of the time, she’s pretending she’s a poet all over her blog.