When you are a three-piece band, the departure of one member — especially the lead singer — can be a killer. Luckily, for Dallas rock outfit Oil Boom, a lineup shuffle only made it stronger.
“We’re happy with how things have progressed with this change,” drummer Dugan Connors said of the addition of bassist Steve Steward and guitarist Ryan Taylor (formerly of Oklahoma City’s The Rounders) picking up vocal duties. “Having a different voice changed the dynamic. We feel like we’ve moved forward and found our own lane.”
The group has welcomed that opportunity.
“When you have change, you have to step back and see where you can grow, individually and as a group, and it challenged us to grow a little closer,” Connors said. “It’s shown.”
Already one of North Texas’ strongest upstart rock bands, Oil Boom has seen its range increase tenfold. The three-man crew has gone from bare-bones blues rock à la The Black Keys, to a still bluesy, but more poppy sound akin to The Raconteurs and, at times, even The Shins.
“The material has been tailored around the lineup change, and we’ve embraced some of those pop influences that we have, but hadn’t used in our music before,” Connors said. “Even when we are in a dirtier, garage-rock vein, it sounds more focused. You definitely get a late-’60s garage-rock vibe now, more so than before.”
With the membership shift and subsequent evolution of Oil Boom’s sound, the trio felt it important to quickly follow-up 2011’s Black Waxy with Gold Yeller. Due for release July 31, the six-song EP is more reflective of what Oil Boom is now.
“We did the best job we could in picking songs that represented where we at musically,” Connors said.
The majority of songs have come after the arrival of Steward, meaning that this effort was conceived and completed down to the packaging in less than half a year and making standout tracks like “The Great American Shakedown” and “Waterloo” all the more impressive.
The coming months will see Oil Boom touring regionally, including Friday’s show at VZD’s, and showcasing its new self to old fans.
“We’re excited about the record and feel good about the investment we’ve made in this record,” Connors said. “We can’t wait to start getting that out to people and see what happens.”