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Black Oak Country - Theatre Of The Mind

Black Oak Country
Theatre Of The Mind
by Dave Nowels at 17 April 2019, 7:55 PM

“Theatre Of The Mind” is BLACK OAK COUNTRY’s sophomore release following their self-titled debut, and hot damn, it’s a good one. Especially considering the changes the band experienced following the success of their debut. Despite those successes and accolades the band collected, in 2017 vocalist Niels Beier made the decision to leave to leave music entirely. After some soul searching and an intensive search for a new vocalist, BLACK OAK COUNTRY is back as a trio, and sporting a new sound.

Following the search for a new vocalist, the band secretly entered a Danish studio to begin working on the album we have here. It was during this the band’s line-up came to be what it is now. The band is now comprised of, Jack Svendsen on guitar, Mike Svendsen on drums and newest member, René Hjelm holding down the bass and vocals. The new sound the band has created is a hard hitting power trio that relies heavily on hooks and catchy choruses, but also delivers fuzzy, crunchy riffs that really accentuates and complements the hooks.

As unbelievable as it sounds, there just isn’t a throw-a-way track to be found on “Theatre Of The Mind”. In fact you could randomly pick pretty much any track, and I think it would garner radio interest. Things start off impressively with “Watch Your Back” and then continues to impress with each track. The musicianship from the Svendsens and Hjelm is top notch, but never overly flashy or showboating. Instead, the band seemed intent on creating a compelling sound bound around the melody and an edgy AOR vibe with tracks such as “Stick To My Guns” really displaying that edginess well. Hjelm’s vocals fit perfectly on all of these songs, with tracks like “Since You’ve Been Gone”, “My Chance To Change” and “I Know You’re Lonely” really showcasing his abilities.

This is the real deal here folks. If you like strong hook laden AOR power rock, BLACK OAK COUNTRY are the band for you or at least a band you absolutely need to be checking out. I guarantee it’s generate an earworm that you’ll have a hard time shaking. This one surprised me, as I had no idea what to expect when I clicked play. Yet, there I was listening to it again and even singing along. Good stuff.


Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Watch Your Back
2. Just Another Psycho
3. My Chance To Change
4. Since You’ve Been Gone
5. Pretty Pistol
6. Sycophanic
7. Wasted Life
8. I Know You’re Lonely
9. Stick To My Guns
10. Theatre Of The Mind
Lineup:
Jack Svendsen - Guitar
René Hjelm - Bass/Vocal
Mike Svendsen – Drums
Record Label: Mighty Music
     


Rating

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Edited 07 December 2019
 

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