ORYAN. New Paltzers FTW!


A very cool album cover, if I do say so myself. One of the coolest, I imagine.

Oryan are a self-proclaimed four piece folk/rock band from upstate New York. As a “Ryan” myself, I thought it worth sharing this band with you, a band which is helmed by Ryan Megan and Ryan Schoonmaker (there is a third Ryan in the mix, Ryan McCann, which makes one feel almost sorry for Adam Gosney, the fourth and only non “Ryan” in the band).

The lead singer Ryan Megan has a lazy, three-beers type of baritone with just enough gravel in his voice to keep things interesting. As a guy from New York (unless I have this wrong), I wondered where this heavy drawl came from. He slurs his scenes between staccato drums and fuzzy guitars, and the hints of Tom Waits are undeniable. But the songs themselves (while at times benign and others down-right offensive) benefit from an interesting bar-room country meets traditional folk blend.

I caught some faint yet pleasant Mark Eitzel undertones in lead-off track “The Ride,” and liked the partly sunny tones of “Goodbye,” as much as I disliked the disturbing “If Milbrook Got a Taco Bell.” “Helvetica,” is another nice track which starts out like something you might hear on any old decent country rock album but quickly evolves into something else once Ryan Megan’s vocals kick in.

There are some nice guitar and drum solos throughout, and you can see how the first two Ryan’s got their start just jamming together. Not sure I would put them in league with Deer Tick or Kings of Leon, but one could see where they may fit as the evil, outlandish step-brothers perhaps.

But with occasional, unforgivable lyrics such as: “If Millbrook got a Taco Bell / all the Arabs and Jews would make out / White folks would stop being scared of the blacks / And all the queers would feel free to come out,” I can’t help but wonder if there’s a joke here and I’m just missing it.

Stream album (at your own risk).

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“ORYAN. New Paltzers FTW!”