TOBB – True To Our Sound [Digitally Remastered reissue] (2019)
Formed by session musicians, Norwegian band TOBB started as a playing ground for friends, all with the love for ’80s AOR / West Coast music, and since 1987 has been touring on and off, mostly playing their own cover versions of AOR classics.
In 2010 TOBB had the great fortune and honor of touring with legend Bill Champlin, and he encouraged the band to record his lost song ‘Sweet Marie’, a track that didn’t make it on the legendary Chicago 17 album.
Inspired by Champlin, TOBB started recording their own original material which had been neglected for years. The result is the album ”True To Our Sound”, and the title speaks for itself.
Now the songs have been slightly remixed / remastered, as all members thought they needed some tweaks.
The album consists of 10 songs with a strong emphasis on melody, with extensive vocal arrangements and refined production, indeed ‘true’ to the Eighties sound of the genre.
Of course, everything feels unmistakable Scandinavian, akin Street Talk, Spin Gallery, Time Gallery, etc.
Tamara Champlin and Bill Champlin appear as guest vocalists on his own penned song, the aforementioned ‘Sweet Marie’, a classy Eighties tune with an obvious Chicago feeling.
The album also features a very good recording of The Tubes / David Foster classic ballad ‘Don’t Want to Wait Anymore’, but what I really like about this album are TOBB’s originals.
There’s a dynamic, jumpin’ melodic rock sound to ‘Black Clad Man’, elegant AOR arrangements on midtempo ‘Not Even Close’, some Toto circa 1986 into ‘Talk to You’, classic 80s smooth on ‘Tell Me One More Lie’ (one of my favorites), a lot of Street Talk / Champlin-Williams-Friestedt all over ‘High’, while title track bring to mind Norwegian fellow band Lava.
Despite their funny name TOBB (The Original Bullshit Band), these guys aren’t a joke at all, absolutely professional on all aspects and delivering a cool slice of Scandinavian AOR / 80s Chicago-esque West Coast.
01 – Black Clad Man (Remastered)
02 – Not Even Close (Remastered)
03 – Talk to You (Remastered)
04 – Don’t Want to Wait Anymore (Remastered)
05 – Tell Me One More Lie (Remastered)
06 – Give Me Rain (Remastered)
07 – Sweet Marie [feat Bill Champlin] (Remastered)
08 – High (Remastered)
09 – All or Nothing (Remastered)
10 – True to Our Sound (Remastered)
Knut Anders Sorum : Vocals
Javed Kud : Guitars & Vocals
Trond Nagell Dahl : Keyboards & Vocals
Lard Endrerud : Bass & Vocals
Erik Smith : Drums
Steinar Borvik, Rune Haglund, Jorgen Gjerde : Horns
Tamara Champlin, Bill Champlin : Guest Vocals