Self released [Release date: 24.10.15]
Okay, let’s get the issue of the name out of the way first. Ollocs. What were they thinking of?
Ollocs, whilst lending itself to a myriad of infantile jokes (I was thinking of giving it a ‘B’ as my rating…), would be the band-name of choice for a Cockney ‘Oi!’ pub band, not, as is actually the case, for a rather fine progressive rock band from New York.
Had they called themselves ‘Celestial Voyage’ or something similar they could well have attracted a modicum of interest from the prog cognoscenti – as it stands, ‘Outer Edge’ is the band’s third studio effort and they are definitely hiding their considerable light under a band-name bushel.
Describing themselves as a heavy prog band, ‘Outer Edge’ is anything but, being a mostly pastoral and delicate acoustic outing saving any heaviness until the closing track.
Checking out their back catalogue, it would appear that the band’s first album, ‘Life Thread’ was a heavy(ish) album but this was followed up with another laid-back affair in ‘Cosmic Shift’.
Citing acoustic guitar virtuoso Erik Mongrain as a major influence, Ollocs have delivered an exquisitely intense and fragile instrumental work that will easily stand comparison with any similar album in the genre – check out ‘Reflection’, its chilled-out spaciness bringing to mind Fleetwood Mac’s classic ‘Albatross’.
Although each track is basically picked guitar overlaid onto swelling keyboard and piano flourishes, each is sufficiently different and intriguing in its own right to sustain interest throughout, and – certainly if played through headphones – the coherent whole transports the listener to a faraway place, limited only by the boundaries of his/her imagination.
If there is a downside it’s that the album’s five tracks clock in at a paltry 26 minutes, but there’s good stuff in little parcels and if time is limited to a quick shot of tranquil progressive rock, you’d go a long way to find much better than this. ****
Review by Alan Jones
Alan sequences “The Eclectic Mix” on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, third Sunday of the month at 16:00. Expect some prog.
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In this show, first broadcast on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio on 2 February 2020, David Randall plays a selection of tracks from some of the artists who impressed at this year’s Giants Of Rock event in Minehead (24-27 January).
Featured Albums w/c 17 February (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 NEWMAN Ignition (AOR Heaven)
12:00-13:00 BLACK SWAN Shake The World (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 CORMAC O CAOIMH Swim Crawl Walk Run (indie)
Power Plays w/c 17 February (Mon-Fri)
SHAKRA Turn The Light On (AFM Records)
THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA Transmissions (Nuclear Blast)
RYDERS CREED Lost Soul (Off Yer Rocka Recordings)
FRAMING HANLEY Puzzle Pieces (Thermal Entertainment LLC)
ROBERT HART Mysterious (Escape Music)
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