Reviews roundup – Orden Ogan vs. Los Pacaminos vs. Jess & The Bandits vs. Space Cream
The Book Of Ogan
I really liked “Ravenhead”, the last album from Orden Ogan, which just about completed their move from folk metal into full blown power metal. And now it’s time for a best of. With a twist.
Because “The Book Of Ogan” consists of 2 DVDs with a running time of 6 hours including 2 full live concerts from 2015, an extensive band documentary, music videos and more. Alongside that there is are two CDs. A Best Of 2008 – 2015 set, and an official release of their 2004 demo “Testimonium a.d.”.
Now that’s a lot of Orden Ogan, and I’ve only got the audio to review, but it serves to confirm that they have developed into a mighty fine power metal outfit. The fourteen track best of does a bang up job of showcasing their sound, and even if the demo is little more than a curio these days, it rounds off a very impressive package indeed.
Los Pacaminos / A Fistful Of Statins
You know you’re getting old, when that fresh faced laddie from Streetband turns out to be sixty years old, and singing with a London based Tex Mex band. But that’s life.
To be fair, I had a vague recollection of Paul Young being interviewed about his new venture, but had never heard any of their material until now. And with their two albums being reissued, it’s a fine time to catch up with them. Because they are very good at what they do.
And it’s straight down the middle tex Mex, with accordions galore, a touch of Western Swing, and the still impressive vocals of Mr Young. With the band chock full of well respected musos, it’s clear that this is something they really enjoy doing, rather than just being paid for it. Which probably explains the decade long gap between releases. Both albums have been expanded, with the debut gaining three tracks from an early EP, and “A Fistful Of Statins” gaining two brand new tracks and a cover of the Bee Gees ‘Words’.
I’d missed all this first time around, but have had a real blast getting to grips with this. Don’t let it slide this time.
JESS & THE BANDITS
Kiss You Now
After Midnight Girl
A perky little pop song with a hint of twang, which really takes off when the male vocals and handclaps kick in. A very nice tune, which came out to tie in with their Country 2 Country appearance, and which heralds a forthcoming deluxe edition of their debut album “Here We Go Again”.
Now I don’t dislike many things more than a deluxe reissue, but for those of you who like being robbed, it will be out in April with four additional tracks. This one, along with ‘We Are Tonight’, ‘I Don’t Dance’ and ‘Here’s to Us’. Now if only they’d released an EP instead. Then they would have some of my pocket money.
That aside, Jess & The Bandits are one of the better new country acts out there, and well worth a listen.
27th April – Fruit, Hull
28th April – The Oobleck, Birmingham
29th April – Bush Hall, London
1st May – The Sage, Gateshead
2nd May – Electric Circus, Edinburgh
5th May – Talking Head, Southampton
7th May – Waterfront Studio, Norwich
Well, this is interesting. Space Cream seem to be setting themselves up as a glam prog band, which is certainly a novel idea. However, a lot of the music comes over as mainstream seventies rock fronted by a disco diva.
And that means it is still interesting as Savannah Pope certainly has a fine set of pipes on her, as she wails away at some lyrically interesting tunes like ‘Nefarious Lothario’, ‘Leave Dracula Alone’ and the title track. They certainly look the part, and with Ms Pope coming on like a 21st century Ann Wilson, there’s no reason why they won’t get a decent amount of attention.
The rest of the band – Dizzy Joan (guitar), Saul Slotnick (bass) and Zak Ryan (drums) – certainly have the chops, and if they ever decide to remake Flash Gordon the movie, then the producers should snap them up for a soundtrack. In the meantime, one for the Rocky Horror fans.