Every once in a while, a new band arrives and breathes fresh air into a monotonous genre. Such is the case with Oneside, a talented pop-rock quartet from Boston. While incorporating banjo into pop-rock is hardly revolutionary – Béla Fleck, for instance, has been doing that for a while – Oneside combines bluegrass, rock and roll, and a catchy pop mentality into a sound that is distinctively their own.
On their self-titled EP, hook-laden songs, along with Ned deBary’s pop rock vocals, are infectious enough to remain firmly planted in the listeners’ heads. The appeal of their recording lies mostly in the instrumentalism of banjoist Ian Knox and drummer Jake Brooks. “Chinatown,” the opening track, features two scorching electric banjo solos and lightning-quick drum fills, while the album’s finest track, “Josephine,” has the most innovative song structure. The album ends with the unapologetic bluegrass romp of “Got to Go.” With a full-length debut forthcoming, Oneside is a rising band to watch out for.