Album Reviews

Osukaru – GBG2LA

Released by: Independent

Release Date: Out Now!!!

Genre: Melodic Rock/AOR


Line Up:

Oz Osukaru: guitars

Emma Lee Gunnari: bass

Kristofer von Wachenfeldt: keys

Ryan Coyle: drums

Carl “CJ” Johan: lead vocals


01 – GBG2LA

02 – Driven By Love

03 – Change Of Heart

04 – Believe

05 – Tell Me You’ll Stay

06 – Out Of Touch

07 – Dedicacion

08 – It Was Meant To Be

Sweden and AOR/Melodic Rock are impossible to divorce from each other, because ever since EUROPE and MALMSTEEN made it big, the country has been continuously bringing us new bands in this genre. The past few years were very fruitful with bands like H.EA.T., HOUSTON, SANCHEZ, TITAN, DANGER AVENUE, EYE, STINGRAY, etc. etc. And now there is OSUKARU, another pure 80s sounding AOR/Melodic Rockband from Sweden.

Partly recorded in the USA, their mini-CD ‘GBG2LA’, meaning something like Gothenborg goes 2 LA in modern day MSN language, the record is filled with material that is not far away from PRIDE, HEAT, HOUSTON, TREAT, DALTON, DAVINCI and you name it further. Maybe not original, the performance is quite good and very AORish, with keys upfront and a fantastic guitarist (bandleader OZ OSUKARU, who also plays keys) who is easily the star of the band here. The 6 songs included on the CD (not counting the 2 short interludes) are very good actually, but the only slight let-down are the lead vocals, which are a bit so-and-so. Nevertheless, the singer is saved by the guitarist (yeah he is that brilliant!), the catchiness of the tunes and a bunch of harmonyvocals.

A ballad like “Believe” or the midtempo “Out of touch” show that this band has a bright future ahead of them, because just listen to the beautiful guitarsolos here and also the songs have got really strong choruses in the best ALIEN/TREAT world. During “Believe”, the vocals even sound much better (also during the ballad “It was meant to be” by the way), so there’s definitely some possibilities in that department, although I do think a song like “Tell me you’ll stay” could sound like a true winner if the vocals improve, because now the Swedish accent is a bit too much to make it a pleasant listen. I must constantly think of legendary Swedish band 220 VOLT, whom shared the same issue regarding the vocals for many years, but finally on their ‘Eye to eye’ record from 1988 this was improved and the band delivered a nice piece of work.

However, as a first taste, this record is definitely a pleasure to listen to and I think we can look forward to the future when this band perhaps releases a sensational full-length CD. Concluded, this band is a great new addition to the AOR scene, yet some improvements on especially the lead vocals need to take place in order to reach the level of HEAT and HOUSTON.

Written by Gabor

Ratings Gabor   8/10

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