OSUKARU – Rock It Up (2016)
Swedish guitarist Oz Osukaru has been tirelessly fighting to position his band OSUKARU at the top of the Melodic Rock / AOR field for more than seven years. The problem always was the male vocalist change from album to album, but now seems Fredrik Werner has firmly occupied the slot and “Rock It Up“, Osukaru’s 6th effort, it’s the first featuring the same singer.
It’s obvious; when you get a stable line-up for more than a year, it pays its dividends. On “Rock It Up”, Osukaru sounds and feels like a real band like never before.
As happened since the last album, this new recording shows the group much more inclined to Melodic Rock than the characteristic AOR sound of Osukaru’s origins. Of course, there’s ever present keyboards and melodies in the classic Scandinavian tradition, but overall the style is Melodic (Hard) Rock.
Think Talisman, Takara and alike, with the personal Osukaru vibe including occasional sax here and there, string arrangements, acoustic passages, etc.
‘Rock It Up’ opens with a punch driven by a hard riff and showcasing how much Fredrik Werner’s vocals have greatly adapted to the band. A kickin’ rocker with an extremely melodic chorus.
“Driven By Love” goes for AOR in classic vein yet with a modern sound akin Pride Of Lions, then ‘Multiplied’ is a melodic mid-tempo, a song with a strong Heart influence.
‘Rock It Up (karaoke version)’ could be taken as a filler, but it’s really interesting as you can check how much the band has grown and how good sounds instrumentally.
The rest of the songs are the new recordings with Fredrik Werner at the mic, some re-worked old songs, some newer.
Finally, seems Osukaru has found stability and it’s ready for a major step: a full length album with new material. “Rock It Up” shows a band tight & oiled, plus strong songwriting.
Production has been improved in recent Osukaru works, and while still is not perfect, comes very close to the final goal.
Really Good Scandinavian Melodic Rock / AOR.
01 – Rock It Up
02 – Driven By Love (2016)
03 – Multiplied
04 – Rock It Up (karaoke version)
05 – Strangled Emotions
06 – Out of Touch (new version)
07 – Edge of A Broken Heart
08 – Tell Me You’ll Stay (new version)
09 – Arrows
10 – Mafia Rules (new version)
11 – Promised Land (new version)
Oz Ozukaru: guitars, keyboards, backing vocals
Fredrik Werner: vocals, guitars, backing vocals
Eugenia: vocals, keyboards
Fredrik Svensson: bass
Vidar Mårtensson: drums
BUY IT !