OJM (Volcano) CD
Italy's OJM are a good example of a band that becomes better and better with each new release. Their debut album 'Heavy' was nothing more than an average heavy rock album, except for a few good songs, but the successor 'The Light Album' was a proof for the fact that OJM has more to offer. Seven years later, 'Volcano' is the band's fourth studio album, and it is obvious that these guys worked really hard at their craft. It also seems to me that the past cooperation with Michael Davis (MC5) and Brant Bjork helped them to strengthen their profile and to focus on things they want. But whatever it was, it was good for OJM. Thus, 'Volcano' is their best album and definitely a huge step forward for the band. What I personally liked a lot is the fact that it is a varied and versatile affair. On the one hand, there are tracks as, for example, 'I'll Be Long' or 'Venus', which clearly show that OJM are still closely connected with 1960's garage rock.
On the other hand, 'Ocean Hearts' is considerably more psychedelic and also covers classic rock territory. The additional organ refines the tracks, but it's not the only tune where OJM use this instrument. It's definitely an important component of their music and enhances the 1960's vibe. Not to be forgotten are the simplistic yet addictive guitar riffs that suit both the nature of the songs as well as the band's general musical direction. Naming highlights is an exercise in futility as the album maintains a stunning consistence from beginning to end. David Martin's reverb drenched vocal performance is truly superb, but also the other three guys doing a good job. Furthermore 'Volcano' is a cool journey through different moods, which is a second reason for me to listen to this album again and again. Also worthy of note is the production of Edmund Monsef and Dave Catching, both of which mastered and mixed the album at The Hacienda in Los Angeles. The endeavours of this team have ensured that 'Volcano' sounds thick, full and heavy. OJM has delivered a great album that deserves attention. With so much good music, it is certainly value for money!