Osukaru - 'Transition'

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Osukaru - 'Transition'

If, like me, you're unfamiliar with Osukaru then as far as I'm concerned this is as good a place as any to start.

Swedish Melodic Rockers Osukaru, led by guitarist and founder Oz Osukaru, return with their fifth official release 'Transition'; however it's not actually a completely new release per se but a "mini-album" of five new tracks and five re-recordings of earlier tracks.

I won't admit to being an expert on the band as I've never heard a complete and full album, but what I do like is the dual male/female lead vocals of Fredrik Werner and Cecilia Camuii (the latter is also a latex model whose image is on the album cover). While Camuii is not in the same league as the likes of Lzzy Hale or Robin Beck when it comes to vocal range, I enjoy the dynamic it gives the band as it's rarely used within the parameters of true Melodic Rock. There are also occasional stabs of saxophone (courtesy of Jens Björk) throughout the album; it's not an instrument I'm particularly keen on but when it's used sparingly, as here, it does add a certain class to proceedings.

Of the new tracks, the opening 'Arrows' is a glorious Melodic Rocker with a hard edge, dual lead vocals and a big chorus, Werner's 'Strangled Emotions' has a West Coast feel, Camuii's 'Edge Of A Broken Heart' (also featuring guitarist Janne Stark of Grand Design) drifts towards a Pop Rock style and 'Blinded Eyes' blends ballad-ish verses with a Metallic, riff-driven chorus and slightly Progressive passages. 'Play' is a pacey instrumental that gives Osukaru ample opportunity to shine, though Björk also has his share in the spotlight.

As for the re-recordings, you get the great 'Tell Me You'll Stay', 'Out Of Touch', 'Mafia Rules' (which includes guitarist Erik Heikne from Miss Behaviour and vocalist Jules Millis of White Widdow/Tigertailz), 'Promised Land' and the slightly Funky 'City Lights'. As I'm not aware of the older material I'm unable to determine if the re-recorded versions are an improvement on the originals. However if, like me, you're unfamiliar with Osukaru then as far as I'm concerned this is as good a place as any to start.

Ant Heeks

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