Osta Love -
The Isle Of Dogs

(CD 2015, 43:49, RecordJet 4050215146495)

The tracks:
  1- The Isle Of Dogs(4:11)
  2- Down To The River(3:38)
  3- The Sea(5:13)
  4- Black Beacon Sound(4:23)
  5- Green Hills Of Home(5:28)
  6- Moonshine At Midnight(4:56)
  7- Translucent Engineering(16:00)

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Osta Love released their debut album Good Morning Dystopia (see review) in 2013. Two years later we can welcome their follow up album, titled The Isle Of Dogs. It is housed in a nice digipack. Nowadays the band consists of founding members Tobias Geberth (guitars, vocals, keyboards) and Leon Ackermann (drums and percussion) plus Oliver Nickel (bass) and Marcel Sollorz (keyboards, vocals).

When I put it on a quite refreshing sound filled my living room. This 6 year old band picks details from different progressive rock bands over the years, beginning in the seventies. All the ingredients are there, synth solos, harmonies, breaks, tempo shifts. Ok, it lacks long spun out guitar solos (except for the last track).

I want to point out Black Beacon Sound has a familiar seventies sound. It immediately reminded me of Sherbet's Howzat. Give it a proggy twist, and it's complete. It fluently flows into the next track Green Hills Of Home with a completely different atmosphere and sounds a bit like country and folk music but it ends surprisingly symphonic. Again it flows into the next track. It begins promising, but it soon breaks down. The sixteen minute closing track Translucent Engineering is (for me) the most impressive of the album. As I have a weak spot for long tracks, I held my hopes up high. It builds up in approx. 3 minutes to go to a nice 4 minute instrumental section, nothing exiting, but it could be a nice tribute to Pink Floyd. After a short period of singing it goes back to an instrumental section. Piano and guitar have a good balance in this section. After that the singer tries to build up a tension. But just when you think it gets interesting it breaks down in a quiet synth solo, followed up by a good harmonised Genesis like ending.

All in all it's an easy listening album that sadly enough doesn't just hit the spot for me. Why? It sounds polished, the voices, despite of the nice harmonies, don't have the emotion you'd expect from a prog band. It hasn't got the parts that make the difference. It's so...standard. It isn't bad at all, on the contrary. It's good! And worth buying. I think this band can build a nice future.

***+ Erik van Os (edited by Astrid de Ronde)

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