OGD - The Big Game

OGD The Big Game Bandcamp [Release date 25.08.20]

The Big Game is the debut release from OGD who feature Derek Olivero (guitars, lead vocals), Bobby Gavin (drums), and Dave DeRanieri (bass). OGD recorded the album with legendary drummer Jerry Marotta (Peter Gabriel, John Mayer) as the album’s producer at New York’s Dreamland Recording Studios. Special mention to the inlay sleeve and artwork which was created by Hugh Syme (Rush, Aerosmith, Dream Theater). A real treat for those who like the physical product and something visual to complement the music.

But what of said music? Well having listened to this album a few times now one band really comes to mind, King’s X. Mainly for the funky groove underpinning many of the songs. You can also here a little bit of 80’s Rush/RHCP on ‘The Word’ and ‘Out In The West’. Then we have ‘Setting Sun’, an upbeat melodic rocker featuring harmony vocals with a groove filled backbeat. The more you play this album, the more you enjoy it.

OGD are definitely one to grab a listen to, with their penchant for short, focussed songs full of melody. ***1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie


DAYS BETWEEN STATIONS Giants [Release date 21.09.20]

Days Between Stations are a duo consisting of guitarist Sepand Samzadeh and keyboardist Oscar Fuentes, who call upon various guest musicians to help realise the duo’s musical visions. Heavily involved on this, the band’s third album, is Billy Sherwood (Yes) who produced the album, as well as playing bass and drums.

Musically it is top notch as you’d expect given the band’s musical pedigree, although personally the vocals don’t entice repeated listens. Bar ‘Goes By Gravity’ which features Colin Moulding of XTC fame. This song has the quirkiness and pop sensibility of XTC, a definite plus and proof Days Between Stations follow their instincts, rather than be hemmed in musically to one sound.

For those who like prog rock that is heavily influenced by the early/mid-70’s sound this album is made for you. ***

Review by Jason Ritchie

SUN KING RISING Delta Tales Peacock Sunrise Records [Release date 02.10.20]

Delta Tales is the debut from Texan singer/songwriter/pianist John Blangero – a ‘stereophonic recording’ steeped in the traditions of southern rock and country soul primarily influenced by the arrangements, vocal stylings, and big band vibe of Leon Russell and Joe Cocker.

An Americana/southern soul/classic rock type of album packed with memorable hooks, rocking piano, driving rhythms, a powerful horn section and soulful female backing singers’, Delta Tales was recorded over four months from January 2020 to mid-May with lockdown forcing Blangero and producer Ace Acker to complete the production remotely with players and recording in several different locations.

Sounding like it was recorded in the early 70s, it captures Blangero’s retro vision of great backing singers, classic horn parts, tight rhythm sections, killer guitar lines, funky keys supplementing his own acoustic piano parts and singing Joe Cocker would surely approve of.

With a superb supporting cast, Delta Tales has a real period authenticity that falls somewhere between Tom Jones and Joe Cocker at the peak of their powers, although my wife did suggest there were hints of Elton John in places.  A fair point.

It’s a marvellously constructed record, and a fabulous recording.  My only criticism would be whether there’s a ‘classic’ tune lurking, and whether there’s any real audience beyond those who lived through the era.  But for those who did and yearn for the sounds of their youth, Delta Tales is a thrilling ‘time capsule’ of a record.  ***1/2

Review by Pete Whalley

THEM - Return to Hemmersmoor

THEM Return to Hemmersmoor SPV/Steamhammer [Release date 30.10.20]

The final part of the trilogy from Them, the US/German thrash/power metal band. This time around no Mike Le Pond of Symphony X, however Paul Sabu once again helps out on backing vocals.

Certainly louder and more intense than 2018’s enjoyable ‘Manor of the Se7en Gables’, especially when they thrash out on ‘Battle Blood’ and ‘Age Of Ascension’. Them are not just thrashers though as they can craft fine slabs of power metal as ‘Free’ ably demonstrates.

With spoken word passages to help the story along, special effects galore (do listen to this on headphones), Them round the trilogy off on a high. Hopefully they can tour this concept as it would make for a horror filled, theatrical metal treat. ***1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie

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Power Plays w/c 27 June 2022 (Mon-Fri)
REVIVAL BLACK Broken Home (TMR Records)
FLOYA Epiphany (indie)
TWISTER Own Worst Enemy (indie)
MODERN MIMES Down And Dead (Curtain Call Records)
TUNGSTEN Northern Lights (Arising Empire)
THE GREAT LESLIE Feel Alive (indie)

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09:00-12:00 GRACE Hope (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 CLASSLESS ACT Welcome To the Show (Better Noise Music)
14:00-16:00 TIMOTHY B. SCHMIT Day By Day (indie)

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