One of the best parts about living in a DIY punk house is that you get to see a ton of upcoming bands before they “make it big.” Grand Rapids, Michigan trio Oliver Houston played their first show in my basement in early 2015 to a small crowd of local kids and residents of the space.
Two years later, the band has released a beautiful EP that brought them a lot of attention in the punk community, and toured all the way down to SXSW and back. Now, they have finally released their first full-length effort in the form of Whatever Works.
After self-funding the entire release, the band wasn’t sure about the best way to promote the record: Should they play into the “pay for popularity” game that is becoming more standard in today’s music industry, and hire a really good publicist so that the music gets an incredibly wide reach? Or should they challenge themselves and try to do all the promotion themselves?
As it turns out, the quality of the music spoke more than money; promotion came pretty naturally once the band started reaching out to outlets to pitch them on premiering singles. As a collective, Oliver Houston came up entirely in the DIY/DIT [Editor’s note: “Do It Together”] community, and the promotional effort of Whatever Works did nothing but strengthen their understanding of the importance of doing it yourself, and staying true to what you believe in.
Stream or download Whatever Works below, and if you like what you hear, support the band by picking up some vinyl and other merchandise here.