21 Octayne – “Into The Open” (AFM Records)
Pumping modern rock from messrs Hagen Grohe (The Joe Perry Project), Marco Wriedt (Axxis) , Andrew “The Bullet” Lauer ( PAUL GILBERT) and Alex Landenburg (Rhapsody)! Taking inspiration from prog and AOR, both in its modern and classic forms, 21 Octayne’s music is rock that reaches out over generations with heart wrenching riffs, soulful melodies and addictive choruses. Using their collective experience of music, the band play rock the way it used to be played, naturally with an organic sound and minimal technological interference. As such “Into The Open” has an amazing sound, doing true justice to Hagen Grohe’s pop / rock voice as well as all the instruments from Marco Wriedt’s crystal clear guitars to the rock solid rhythm of “The Bullet”’s funky but punchy bass lines and Alex’s rock for muthas drums. Definitely a class act, 21 Octayne are almost a musicians’ band given the pride in their songwriting, production and playing on this excellent debut, although their desire to be inclusive to range of rockers is what is most impressive. Is it accessible to metalheadz – undoubtedly on air punching songs like ‘Leave My Head’ and ‘She’s Killing Me’ say so – although equally the likes of ‘Dear Friend’ mixing pounding funky beats with hard, driving rock would do no harm in making a desirable change from a headbangers staple diet. All in all an inspirational album in its appeal to all through the simplicity of the only thing that matters – its desire to rock!