Monday, April 3, 2017

BLACK OAK COUNTY - Black Oak County (2017)

BLACK OAK COUNTY - Black Oak County (2017) full

Hailing from Esbjerg, Denmark, BLACK OAK COUNTY are a quartet of young guys releasing their self-titled debut of hard rocking songs wrapped by a modern production.
In spite of the band only having been around since 2012, Black Oak County have already managed to make their mark on the Scandinavian music sharing stages with the likes of The Dead Daisies and Danish rock legends D-A-D (Disneyland After Dark).

Listing influences such as Slash and Zakk Wylde, indeed their musical formula is punchy hard rock driven by a ton of guitar riffs and hoarse vocals.
There's a lot of enthusiasm and energy throughout this debut album recorded at Hansen Studios, which is owned by renowned producer Jacob Hansen, where the band teamed up with producer and engineer Jonas Haagensen (Amaranthe, Pretty Maids) in order to capture their tour-tested songs and the vital live performance onto an album.

From the start, Black Oak County kick some serious ass. The lead off track “Someone Else” leaves little doubt about what the listener is in for. A massive driving bass drum pounds the beat into your head until you can’t wait for the song to explode.
“Enough On My Plate” is more classic hard rock, and highlights the vocals of Niels Beier and the band’s ability to create a catchy chorus with a hook to it. “Bogeyman” gets ugly fast and pounds away as a real hard rocker. It may not be the most original track, but it has its upsides such as a creative bridge and lead in, for example.

BLACK OAK COUNTY - Black Oak County (2017) inside

I think "Mad Dog” pretty much sums up everything that the young Danish hard rockers are all about in a mere 249 seconds. With plenty of power, aggression, a wall of razor guitars, and a chorus that’ll stay in your head for days, this song rocks.
“Rated R for Redneck” is a special kind of tune, heavy and with a slightly southern feel to it. Here's where Zakk Wylde comes to mind. Niels performance is spot on; I literally can’t say anything bad about this guy, he has born to sing this type of rock.
Listening to “If you Only Knew” you could swear is from Nickelback but with the right sense of cool, it's a slow, melodic radio-friendly ballad. Niels shows another interesting side of his vocals, very melodic.

“Laughing With The Crows” has an interesting lyric, but what I like most are the driving guitars inspired by classic hard rock. I hear some DAD on “Nothing To Say”, a band that made a strong influence on all Scandinavian bands.
For the end, “Never Cared”, has a nasty bit of lyric combined with heavy guitar work with some nod to Seventies arena hard rock.

BLACK OAK COUNTY - Black Oak County (2017) back

Perhaps what more ‘shocks’ about this album is that it doesn’t feel like a debut. Black Oak County exhumes confidence; the guys know exactly what they are doing, and by putting together thick riffs, catchy choruses and frontman Niels Beier’s powerful voice into the mix, there you have it, a 10-piece kick ass record comprised in 40 minutes.
It's modern and at the same time classic hard rock, very well executed and produced.
Strongly Recommended

01 - Someone Else
02 - Enough on My Plate
03 - The Bogeyman
04 - Mad Dog
05 - Save Me
06 - Rated R for Redneck
07 - Laughing with the Crows
08 - If You Only Knew
09 - Nothing to Say
10 - Never Cared

Niels Beier – guitar, vocals
Jack Svendsen – guitar
René Hjelm – bass
Mike Svendsen – drums



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