Black Leaves & White Trash / Soundtrack From Your Moms Bedroom

Written by: PP on 29/03/2012 03:42:16

Next up on my enormous backlog of reviews is a Danish rock'n'roll band Oktan, who were formed in 2006 with only one purpose according to their own words: "to deliver kick ass rock 'n' roll without compromise". That's a promise they keep throughout their debut album "Black Leaves & White Trash / Soundtrack From Your Moms Bedroom", which is actually a double EP that features selected songs from two recording sessions the band completed in 2008 and 2011 for two EPs that were never released to the public. There are, however, some fundamental problems with the band's expression.

For starters, the band's vocalist is none other than Michael Bøgballe, the ex-vocalist of modern metallers Mnemic. In principle, there's nothing wrong with a metal vocalist trying his craft in a different genre, but in reality, it's just that difficult to adjust your voice that much from what you're used to. That's the primary problem of Oktan: they are sporting a metal vocalist on a rock'n'roll record. As a result, the riffs, of which there are plenty of to all sorts of swirling and rowdy capability, are often overshadowed by a hardcore-fueled bark that leaves much to be desired for in terms of song accessibility, and more importantly, their lasting value. Bøgballe simply shouts and screams his way through the record in a too monotonous manner to make an impact, to put it bluntly.

Secondly, what Oktan are doing instrumentally has been done before. They are decent at writing 'ass kicking' riffs and at creating an energetic, raw, and dirty expression (as they so well describe it in their own words on the promo material), however, bands like Bullet Train Blast, Supercharger, and others have delivered much better records nationally. And lets not even start mentioning international competition at this point. That being said, the attitude and enthusiasm is certainly in order throughout the record, so if Oktan are able to hone their songwriting, while Bøgballe simultaneously makes his vocals more interesting and more relevant for the rock'n'roll genre, then the band has the ingredients for success. For now, this'll probably be fun live, but on record, it doesn't do enough for the listener to care.


Download: In The Gutter
For the fans of: Bullet Train Blast, Supercharger,
Listen: Myspace

Release date 25.11.2011

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