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Portland, Oregon, United States | INDIE

Portland, Oregon, United States | INDIE
Band Rock Alternative


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Oxcart: Beekeeper Constellation"

Oxcart: Beekeeper Constellation
Oxcart is a Portland, Oregon band made up of Jason Baker, on guitar and vocals, Eric Welder on bass; Matt Jones on keys, guitar and vocals; and Alex Feletar on drums. They have been in the field making music since their debut album of 2005, Sasquatch?. In 2008 they released the follow up Equation, which earned them some critical acclaim and support slots for the touring bands Zepperella and The Cherry Poppin' Daddies, during their tours from 2008 – 2010. This new album combines a sound that they describe as a mix of "Pink Floyd, Queens of the Stone Age, Muse, and the Sword" .
The concept of the album is embodied in this excerpt taken from their website: "A young beekeeper finds himself thrust into the angry maw of an unforgiving war and returns a changed man, haunted by visions and ghosts of those he loves. Unable to reconnect, he takes solace only in the company of his bees and a vision of himself unto the stars…" (http://www.oxcartmusic.net/store.php, 2011).
This is a game changing album for this band. I think this one has the capacity and sound to help break the band big. The two years of planning and preparing this album were well worth the wait. The hard work and original compositions they have created here need to be heard by many. They have created a piece of art full of many genres and moods. This is the kind of album that jumps to the top of your discography and makes you walk with pride that you've created it. Get this album, don't miss this new stage in their career.
"Drawbridge" opens with this mono sounding anthem that sounds like something taken from a movie or video game soundtrack. However, the song quickly blossoms into a full fledge anthem with pounding drums, (including a salute to Genesis with a "Knife" sounding drum insert), before the guitars zoom their way out of this intro track.
Don't put down the sticks yet, "Delusions" is full of that heralding drum assault at the opening. Almost like a throwback to "Immigrant Song", the drums, and then blazing guitars of this song make it one of the best tracks on the album. Baker's vocals, "Climbing and climbing I won't turn around. I can see clearly now, so clearly. I can fly far away so far way. But I'm already in the clouds", are powerful and a mix between David Gilmour and some of the leading grunge artists from this neck of the woods. The guitar soloing is amazing and will have you at the edge of the chair or up rocking to the beat. Can't say enough about the drums.
"The Light" opens with soft keyboards, after all the early drumslinging from the opening tracks. Don't get to comfortable, cause the mood is gonna change. Another of the best songs on the album, this one is just magnificent. Full of emotional music and vocals, "Lost in NYC, learn to find my own way. Upside down I've capsized, adrift where you left me". The support of pounding drums and grinding Rush – like guitars helps lift this one even higher. There is an almost Cure/Smashing Pumpkins ala"1979" feel to the backing bass and guitar support, set against more powerful grungy vocals and grinding guitars. Yeah a great mix.
"Zenith" takes us up in space, complete with radio communication flashback effects, before those buzzing, blasting guitars and punching drums take over. This is a Black Sabbath sounding instrumental assault of the senses before Jason's vocals join the fray, "I've been kicked around like a beer in the sun. Now I stretch out my arms". The howling guitar effects will take you right back to the 70s legends.
Then all becomes calm and we get some cool bass and intricate guitar on "Ember". More great drums and Jason's vocals, "In my mind is a place in the stars. I'll turn around and I can't catch my breath. The Past or the Future, what's wrong and what's left?", combined with some excellent guitar preparing you for the next part of this concept album.
The guitar work on "Fire" is the best on the album. It is simply amazing and can be compared to Rush and many other fast ripping guitar solos. The drums and heavy bass help to support the blistering guitar soloing. Jason's vocals are some of the best on the album, "Waiting on the sunrise. Fire in the lonely sky tonight". That opening riff will stay with you for a long while.
"Possum" slows things down again with spacey guitars and key effects. The bass work is excellent along with the Gimouresque lead guitar. "The silence over comes me. I look into the sky. And somewhere just out there I'm waiting on a star to fall". The launching guitar solo will bring back all of your Pink Floyd memories as the room fills with that incredible sound.
"Nationalism Anthem" opens with cool keys and soft intricate guitar slicing through the haze. A great "Welcome to the Machine" mixed with "On the Run", rhythm begins, before the drums gallop off and take this one away. The power bass and lead guitar will bring back memories of the best of Soundgarden and others of the genre. But they keep i - Sea Of Tranquility

"Oxcart - Pabst Blue Ribbon feature"

"Sasquatch?", the debut album by Oxcart, is an atmospheric slice of space rock, with layers that are dense and detailed. On songs like 730 Days, they show a real skill in steeping their music in claustrophobic detachment, while cloaked within an intense sonic backdrop." Matt Slesser,
Pabst Blue Ribbon Live and Local feature, 9/14/05
- Matt Slesser

"Oxcart -Artist Launch"

The surreal write up on themselves on there website is one reason why Oxcart are featured on AL right now.. It's always nice to see a band that haven't been lobotomized by a major record label..
I think people are more drawn in by a bit of satire and not taking oneself to seriously..
But it is a fact of life that labels will strip you apart, so it's cool to see bands doing 'there thing'..
The important point to make about this band is there music is good.. very good !!
They have a new album out called 'The Equation'...
They hail from Portland, USA.. a city that produces alot of independent musicians and promoters.. we salute you!.. more to come in the future on Oxcart and the indie music scene in Portland..

- Artist Launch 1/9/09
- Artist Launch

"Equation review - Awaken music"

The Equation is Portland, Oregon's Oxcart's followup album to their 2005 release, Sasquatch. In The Equation, the four-piece rock band unleashes conversation, thoughts, quandaries, and debates about a man both historical and mystical. This album is pure concept and experiment.

Genuinely unique, tracks Wishes and Office morph from psychedelic-jam to jazzy lounge sexiness, showcasing the bands ability to stir things up and do something angular. Some of their angularity works, and some falls flat (like Gambler Pt. 1), while others soar (like Gambler Pt. 2). Its like a rock opera; you cannot listen to this track for singles - its a piece of art, that lasts 13 tracks. And if you just skip around, its like you took a cliff notes tour of the Smithsonian.

The Equation might not be for you. Its a concept that takes an artist to appreciate it. But I enjoyed the ride. I look forward to another chapter from Oxcart!
- Awaken music - Jan 09

"A Milestone Record for Oxcart"

A Milestone Record for Oxcart

The title of this album is apt. It gives a hint at the careful approach that Oxcart have taken in its creation, and also at the really pleasant geometry that underlies its sometimes dark sound. But The Equation is definitely a work of art and not one of math or science. It is a fine album that shows off the breadth of a band that is probably overlooked even in their own backyard of Portland, Oregon.

Although it sounds sometimes sad, sometimes foreboding and sometimes aggressive, it is a a pleasure to listen to. The band is tight, and the songwriting and production displays real care and intelligence without succumbing to any sophomoric delusions. There are themes and threads and feelings running through the whole record. And there are plenty of callbacks, lyrically and musically, for those inclined to tune into such things. It sometimes plays like a concept album, but is not at all the tiresome experience that comparison might suggest.

The music is difficult to categorize. The songs are all over the map, displaying a really broad range of abilities and incorporating many influences. I hear echoes of Pink Floyd ("Wishes"), and a distinct heavy metal flavor in some tracks ("Explosions", "Tetherball"). Sometimes there seems to be a little Ben Folds Five ("Genesis", "Office"); I am reminded of Tool ("Gambler Pt. 2", "Commencement"), and sometimes of Faith No More ("Tetherball" again); and yet other times, the sound evokes Rush, or The Police, or even Peter Gabriel.

Any rock aficionado might be inclined to make some of those comparisons. But mostly, the album has a sound all its own. And even when influences are most evident, any song is liable to go off in an entirely different and unexpected direction. There are transformations and changes even within single songs that can be drastic without being harsh or unnatural. "Wishes", in particular, stands out in this respect, with solid, driving drums and guitar. But eventually it veers off the road into a really nicely layered break-down. That in turn fades off, as a relatively quiet and plaintive interlude paves the way into "Office". Here the pattern is somewhat reversed: the song begins smoothly and quietly, and concludes with the high volume and chaos of guitars, drums and keyboard.

The transitions between many of the tracks maintain a satisfying flow that helps to illustrate a single vision behind the album. But the placement of individual songs also enhances the presentation. "Inception", as a percussion-free cosmic-journey-sounding piece, is an appropriate warm-up for the rest of the album. "Commencement" serves as an appropriately atmospheric finale. And "Gambler's Lament", with a soft and amorphous keyboard, ethereal guitar and vocals, and a rhythmic phrasing that transmits a lot of emotion -- it is simply a beautiful recording, with a gentle ending providing a pause that makes it a very suitable mid-point.

There are a few rough edges, and a couple of songs are a little uneven. "Lesson" in particular comes to mind. After a very pleasant keyboard interlude, bass and drums provide a backdrop for the gratifying interplay of guitar and keyboard. But the transitions from verse to chorus are somewhat jarring, and both lyrics and vocals seem somewhat out of place. And I admit I'm not really sure where Oxcart were going with "Tetherball". It certainly packs a punch, and it is not a bad song. But it doesn't quite seem to fit into the album.

But overall, The Equation is a truly impressive work. It represents a milestone and an achievement of which Oxcart should be proud, and which you will want to experience.
- Shep Q - I tunes review

"Oxcart: the 'real' band behind a tribute band"

Being the "real" band behind a tribute band must sometimes feel like being the secret identity behind a superhero. No matter how hard you work, the fame of your counterpart always manages to overshadow you.

The members of Portland band Oxcart understand this all too well. Several times a year, they join forces with other local musicians to create the Pink Floyd tribute band Pigs on the Wing.

"At some point, we felt like we were doing covers all the time," says Oxcart/Pigs on the Wing frontman Jason Baker.

The Pigs on the Wing project grew out of a single performance by Oxcart in which the band decided to play "Dark Side of the Moon" in its entirety. Given that album's popularity, Oxcart's shows soon were attracting great numbers of folks. Unfortunately, many seemed more interested in hearing the Floyd hits than the band's originals.

"It made sense to separate the two bands because people would show up to Oxcart shows wanting Pink Floyd covers, and that's disappointing," Baker says. "At the same time, you don't want people to not get what they want, either."

While that meant bad news for Floyd fanatics, the good news is that Oxcart's music strikes a similar balance between catchy rock accessibility and progressive, conceptual excursions.

"You get the die-hard fans that are into all the old Pink Floyd -- if anything, they're the ones that are open to the musicality in what we do," Baker says.

Oxcart's 2008 album, "The Equation," is a concept album about the drudgery of working a dead-end job and how one man undergoes an odyssey of self-discovery. Think "Office Space" as directed by Terry Gilliam. In the course of 13 songs, the Everyman hero commutes from his bed to the office to the desert and back again. The playing also is epic. Slabs of metal guitar break into shards of delicate keyboard work. Shouted vocals and pretty pop moments are separated by thin membranes of ambient sound.

Baker, whose other secret identity is working as a grade-school teacher, laughs when asked which member of the band's job the album is based on. He says he loves his job, but adds, "Every job has its moments of desperation." The same might be said of trying to bring a new batch of progressive rock to audiences trained to prefer the familiar. If so, Baker downplays such complaints.

"We've found that there actually are a lot of people out there that aren't looking for a box to put us in anyway, but rather just looking to experience something a little different and unusual, and yet just familiar enough to connect with."

-- Jake Ten Pas / The Oregonian 10/27/10
- The Oregonian 2/26/10

"Whisperin and Hollerin review"

. ‘Wishes’ comes on like Canadian rock band Our Lady Peace gate crashing a studio session with Eagles of Death Metal in tow, heralded by fuzzed out lo-fi production. The more you listen to this record, the more you wish other musicians had this multiplicity. Its' a superb ensemble of songs which keeps you on tenterhooks throughout the course of the album. Rating: 8 out of 10 stars Whisperin and Hollerin 2/18/09 - Whisperin and Hollerin

"Independisc Review of The Equation"

“We start Side B (of The Equation) with the epic Desert. Again evoking Pink Floyd – Welcome To The Machine – This monster drum and guitar build accentuates the mantra of “Start a new life” with the knowledge of how hard it is - that heavy weights need to be lifted - and it just might not happen. An Angelic choir feeds the desperation into an ominous lumbering beast that the Gilmour-esque lead soars through (Classic Prog at it’s finest). "...(Oxcart) has crafted a Modern day Prog Rock Opera that has us name checking every pertinent
band/album from Prog’s glory years stirred with the Hammer of the Gods metal influences of the ages...one of the best Modern Metal Prog Rocks albums of this era. The Equation has been written…" Independisc 4/20/09
- Independisc

"Shout 4 Music review of The Equation"

…”Shifting direction continually, Oxcart purveys anything from Stooges CBGB's heyday punk in 'Tetherball' to Metallica-like crashing riffs and scratchy space-out rock in 'Equation', drawing further influences from, Canadian band Our Lady Peace and Queens of the Stone Age. In a day of listening to sub-standard albums, a pedestal was duly pulled out for this piece of apocalyptic-rock…” Shout4Music / Ash Meikle 6/01/09 - Shout 4 Music

"ChickenFish Speaks Review"

...Not finding anything to get excited about...They do have a bit of diversity as evidenced by the saxophone and piano making an appearance on a few tracks. One other thing this CD says to me other than high school is late 70's self-important arena rock. - ChickenFIsh Speaks

"The Oregonian"

Oxcart "...paints soundscapes.... as inspired by Pink Floyd as Morphine."
The Oregonian 10/15/04

- The Oregonian


'Beekeeper Constellation' - 2011
'The Equation' - 2008
'Sasquatch' - 2005



Oxcart - Portland, OR rock

Channeling Pink Floyd, Nirvana, Queens of the Stone Age, and Muse into their own psychedelic rock witches' brew, Portland Oregon's Oxcart comes soaring from the depths of the Pacific Northwest.

Oxcart has released 3 studio albums to date, 2005's Sasquatch?, 2008's The Equation, and 2011's Beekeeper Constellation. The band has played hundreds of shows toured tirelessly throughout the Pacific Northwest for over 5 years. Additionally, Oxcart has received wide ranging FM and internet airplay and been reviewed locally, regionally, and nationally including being selected as Independisc records' 2009 album of the year. Highlights of Oxcart's 2008-2010 support for The Equation include opening slots for The Cherry Poppin' Daddies and Zepperella, amongst many other shows.

Oxcart's latest album, Beekeeper Constellation, picks up where their 2008 release The Equation left off, weaving an intricate array of careful songwriting into the band's heaviest and most mind bending work yet.