Oogee Wawa – More Sand Than Money
1.) Let It Out
3.) More Sand Than Money
4.) Jump Off
6.) Damaged Baggage
7.) Feelin’ Alive Today
8.) Shit Storm
11.) Late Night
12.) Pack The Van
The Pier Album Rating:
Release Date: April 28th, 2015
Official Website: Oogee Wawa Website
Long Island, New York’s Oogee Wawa is a four-piece band that fuses alternative elements with mellow reggae harmonies and hip-hop verses to create a unique and enjoyable sound. Consisting of vocalists Jesse Lee Roenbeck and J.P Aceto, Chad Chadwick (Bass) and Nick Loiodice (Drums), the band has released one studio album, Ride Waves in 2012, and an EP entitled Late Night in 2014 prior to More Sand Than Money. The band plays feel good music, describing their sound as a mix of “Gym Class Heroes, Sublime, [and] a bottle of rum,” to which many reggae fans have responded positively. Albeit a more recent band, Oogee Wawa has made a splash in their short time together, and are looking to gain even more notoriety with their sophomore release.
From the start of this album, the band is exactly as advertised. “Let It Out” opens with some high energy guitar riffs before segueing into a quick paced Jesse Lee rap verse and mellow harmony from J.P. People like myself who are just being introduced to Oogee Wawa will get a sense of the band’s style from this song, so it’s a great choice for the opening track.
This formula is repeated often, sometimes to a fault, but it’s one that works more often than not. Although the album is scattered with songs that hit and others that just miss the mark, Oogee Wawa’s sound is a breath of fresh air for a genre crowded with cliché rhythms and subject matter. There’s an energy present that’s rarely heard on reggae albums, and I could tell that the guys had a blast making this record.
“Pretty” is one of the more mellow tunes on this album, and it’s enjoyable for the most part, but it also exposes one of the problems I had with this album, which is the overuse of Jesse Lee’s rap verses. This is also present in songs like “Jump Off,” which has one too many verses, and “Pack The Van,” where I felt that Lee’s lone verse would have been best left off in order to maintain the integrity of the song’s tone. Lee’s rap verses are filled with more pop culture references than substance, however, his vocals compliment J.P.’s well, making this vocal tandem very likable, despite the occasional lyrical shortcomings.
This album is at it’s strongest during the titular track, “More Sand Than Money,” a catchy summertime tune which features Lee’s strongest rhymes and flow alongside excellent backing instrumentals. Other strong tracks worth an honorable mention include “Damaged Baggage,” “Feelin’ Alive Today” and “T.I.P.S,” the latter of which is probably one of the most mellow rants ever recorded, and will probably become a beloved anthem for bartenders across the country.
There are only a couple of low points on this album, such as “Badrenath,” a song that combines some lazy rhymes with a chorus that comes on too strong, and “Late Night,” a song with a very faint sign of life.
Overall, More Sand Than Money is a solid album that is best suited for a spring/summertime road trip or backyard BBQ. While most of the songs on this album are enjoyable, it’s hard to call any of them timeless. Oogee Wawa’s sophomore release is a good one, and they obviously have the potential to become a breakout band in the industry. Like all new bands, they just need a little polishing before becoming great, but they’re close.
Written & Reviewed By: Andrew Aroche
[Editors Note: All reviews are reflective of the album in it’s entirety, from start to finish. These reviews are the honest opinion of each writer/reviewer expressing their feedback as a genuine fan of the music. Each star rating reflects their review of the album, NOT the band. Music is subjective. Regardless of the review or star rating, we encourage you to listen to the music yourself & form your own opinion. Spread the awareness of all music in its art & contribution]